Monday, July 14, 2014

Former Capital Davenport enters Hall of Fame

Lindsay Davenport, playing for the Orange County Breakers
against Sacramento in a 2012 World TeamTennis match,
starred for the Capitals in the 1990s. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Lindsay Davenport, who starred for the now-defunct Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis, was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday in Newport, R.I.
   Davenport, 38, was enshrined with five-time Paralympic medalist Chantal Vandierendonck, coach Nick Bollettieri, executive Jane Brown Grimes and British broadcaster and announcer John Barrett. They bring the membership of the Hall of Fame, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, to 235 people representing 20 countries.
   Davenport, 6-foot-2 (1.89 meters), reached No. 1 in the world in singles and doubles. The resident of Laguna Beach in Southern California won six Grand Slam titles -- three in singles (1998 U.S. Open, 1999 Wimbledon and 2000 Australian Open) and three in doubles (1996 French Open with Mary Joe Fernandez, 1997 U.S. Open with Jana Novotna and 1999 Wimbledon with Corina Morariu). Davenport also earned the singles gold medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
   With the Capitals, Davenport was named the WTT Female Rookie of the Year at 17 years old in 1993 and the Female MVP in 1997. She competed on three of Sacramento's record six WTT championship teams -- in 1997, 1998 and 2007.
   Down to earth and unfailingly cooperative with the media, Davenport also was one of the most popular players in tennis.
   Bollettieri founded the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, the first full-time tennis boarding school, in Bradenton, Fla., in 1978. Alumni include Hall of Famers Andre Agassi, Jim Courier and Monica Seles, future Hall of Famer Maria Sharapova and former doubles No. 1 Anna Kournikova.
   The Capitals announced on Feb. 4 that they were moving to Las Vegas after 28 years in the Sacramento area because management no longer wanted to spend $125,000 annually to set up a temporary stadium.
   WTT disbanded the team one month later after Capitals owner Deepal Wannakuwatte was charged with conspiracy and mail, wire and bank fraud. He was accused of orchestrating a $150 million scheme while recruiting investors for his medical supply business.
   Wannakuwatte, 63, pleaded guilty in May to one count of wire fraud and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 24. Under terms of the plea agreement, the government will recommend 20 years in prison, the maximum allowed.
   Wannakuwatte bought the Capitals in 2012 after previous owner Bob Cook went bankrupt.

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