July 22, 2018 / 12:52 AM / 3 months ago

Stich, Sukova inducted into tennis Hall of Fame

Former men’s Wimbledon champion Michael Stich was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Michael Stich of Germany pauses while speaking to control his emotions as he is inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, U.S., July 21, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Former women’s doubles standout Helena Sukova also was enshrined during the ceremony in Newport, R.I. The inductions were held on the grass court in which the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open is being played this week.

Stich’s biggest moment was his victory over Boris Becker in the 1991 Wimbledon final. He also was a finalist at the 1994 U.S. Open and 1996 French Open.

Stich, from Germany, also teamed with Becker to win the doubles gold medal in the 1992 Olympics at Barcelona.

“It was always said that we didn’t get along,” the 49-year-old Stich said of Becker. “Obviously, as we were rivals, we could get along. I think we benefited a lot from each other because we always wanted to be better than the other player. We proved it to ourselves and to everyone else that it was possible to follow our goal.”

Helena Sukova of the Czech Republic and Michael Stich of Germany pose for photographs after being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, U.S., July 21, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Stich, who achieved a career-best world ranking of No. 2 in singles in 1993, won 18 singles titles and 10 doubles crowns during his career. He retired in 1997.

Sukova won 14 Grand Slam titles in doubles — nine in women’s and five in mixed. She also was a two-time finalist at both the Australian and U.S. Opens in singles.

“For me, the most important (matches) was playing the singles,” said Sukova, a Czech Republic native. “I didn’t really like to practice, so doubles was perfect.”

The 53-year-old Sukova posted one of her biggest singles wins in the 1984 Australian Open when she upset Martina Navratilova in the semifinals to end her countrymate’s tennis record of 74 consecutive match victories.

Overall, Sukova won 10 singles crowns and 69 doubles titles before retiring in 1998.

—Field Level Media

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