Tennis Hall of Fame honors its pioneers, including Original 9 women

The Original 9 paved the way for women's tennis.  They were honored at the International Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Newport on Saturday.  Left to right in the back row, Valerie Ziegenfuss, Peaches Bartkowicz, with Julie Heldman with microphone, Billie Jean King, center, and Nancy Richey.

NEWPORT – Forty-four players on the WTA Tour won at least $ 1 million in 2019, and they owe this current financial reality to a group of women who have promised to play for $ 1 each.

Billie Jean King, second from right in the bottom row, addresses the crowd at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday.  She was honored along with other members of Original 9, in the back row from left to right, Valerie Ziegenfuss, Peaches Bartkowicz, Kristy Pigeon;  in the first row from the left are Rosie Casals, Julie Heldman, King and Nancy Richey.
Goran Ivanisevic was among those inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Billie Jean King discusses the state of women's tennis.
A kiosk with women's tennis items displays Julie Heldman's book, "Pushed"

It’s Original 9, the headliners at this weekend’s International Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. Billie Jean King needed allies while leading the pursuit of equal price in women’s tennis, and she found them among the ranks of players in what was previously known as the United States Lawn Tennis Association.

Conchita Martinez, Goran Ivanisevic and the late Dennis Van Der Meer completed the last two dedicated classes here on Bellevue Avenue. The courts were open for live tennis, tours and evening dedication ceremonies.

“We’re so connected,” King said. “Everyone has contributed so much in different ways. Each of us was a commitment – a total commitment. ”

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