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This year’s US Open Series began in Newport, the same week that the International Tennis Hall of Fame celebrated two sets of inductees, due to the pandemic. It ended in Cleveland, on the same day that another one of our sport’s institutions—the Black Tennis Hall of Fame—welcomed two deserving classes.

Technically, they were the Classes of 2020 and 2021. But in reality, these individuals are timeless, given their historic impacts, modern-day influence and enduring legacies.

"You join a prestigious field of individuals who have made tremendous contributions to the development of Black tennis in America, and indeed, in programs across the world," said Robert C. Davis, a former President of the Black Tennis Hall of Fame and a 2014 inductee.

Based in Bradenton, Fla., the Black Tennis Hall of Fame held its 13th annual induction ceremony virtually. (Below text from www.blacktennishalloffame.com, where you can find more biographical information.)

The Black Tennis Hall of Fame's Class of 2020.

The Black Tennis Hall of Fame's Class of 2020.

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Class of 2020

SPORTSMEN'S TENNIS & ENRICHMENT CENTER, ORGANIZATION

For over 50 years Sportsmen’s has been a guiding force in the lives of thousands of low and moderate-income minority youth. The Club has helped introduce local players to worlds of opportunity, and the world of tennis to Boston.

ROBERT W. JOHNSON, JR., PIONEER AND CONTRIBUTOR

Robert W. Johnson, Jr. and his father, Dr. Robert Walter "Whirlwind" Johnson, integrated the sport of tennis and developed the talent of Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe and other notable players.

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IRWIN R. HOLMES, PIONEER

Holmes used tennis and academics to bring about change within North Carolina State University and the entire Atlantic Coast Conference.

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TINA MCCALL, CONTRIBUTOR

As an accomplished player breaking the barriers for Black tennis in Orlando, her success was both personal (for her) and historical, for the Black tennis community.

JOE G. GOLDTHREATE, REGIONAL LEGEND

Joe teaches his students that hard work pays off. You have to practice, practice and practice. If you put in the time, put in the effort, put in the work, you'll reap the benefits.

ALICE MARBLE, CONTRIBUTOR

Marble was the first to publicly address the sport's segregation practices and challenge the establishment. She wrote her historic July 1, 1950 editorial in American Tennis Magazine.

The Black Tennis Hall of Fame's Class of 2021.

The Black Tennis Hall of Fame's Class of 2021.

Class of 2021

JIMMIE HORACE "DOC" HORNE, PIONEER

"There's almost nobody in the Black community who played tennis who didn't learn it at least in part from Doc Horne," said Malcolm Cunningham, an attorney who has represented the Williams sisters.

TINA KARWASKY, PLAYER

She played under Dr. Walter Johnson's traveling-training program for two summers when she was 13 and 14 year old (1966-1967). This improved her ability to become a top tennis player and coach at California State University Los Angeles (Cal State LA) for men's and women's teams.

WILLIAM ABRAHAM WASHINGTON, CONTRIBUTOR

He served as a Coach to his six children, two daughters on the WTA Tour and two sons on the ATP Tour. Both daughters, Micheala and Mashona, reached the top 100 in singles. Both sons, MaliVai and Mashiska, were Division I tennis players. Son MaliVai was a Wimbledon finalist.

ALVIN "AL" PENELTON, CONTRIBUTOR

Penelton was influential in the USTA providing support to build state-of-the-art tennis courts in East St. Louis for area youth. "Without Alvin Penelton, there would not be new courts to introduce a new generation to tennis," said 40 Days of Nonviolence Coordinator Joe Lewis, Jr.

DR. ELIZABETH (LIZ) OKONGO ODERA, CONTRIBUTOR

Dr. Odera's contribution to the field as a Black tennis professional and sports administrator was building networks across Africa, through using sport to empower the underprivileged and building the first public tennis courts in the poorest slum in Africa. She believes passionately in breaking barriers.

FRANK ADAMS, REGIONAL LEGEND

Frank Adams was the first African American President of the Colorado Tennis Association, and Intermountain Tennis Association USTA Section, leading the way for future Black Colorado and sectional leaders.

LEONARD JOHNSON, REGIONAL LEGEND

Leonard Johnson has been involved in tennis for over 40 years; over 35 years as a Professional Tennis Instructor with United States Professional Tennis Association (USTA) Certification Pro2, and Certified USTA Tournament Official; and over 15 years as Chief Executive Officer of Johnson's Community Junior/Adult Tennis Association.

DR. JAMES B. EWERS, JR., REGIONAL LEGEND

Ewers is currently a member of USTA Louisiana and sits on the Diversity Committee. He was appointed to the USTA Southern Schools & After Schools Committee in 2019. Ewers is a life member of the NAACP and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha.

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You can view the entire ceremony here: