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Texas Tennis Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2003

October 3, 2003 12:31 PM

WACO -- The Texas Tennis Hall of Fame Selection Committee, comprised of six respected media members, past-president of the USTA Texas Section, presidents of the USPTA Texas Division and the Texas Tennis Coaches Association, and chair of the Selection Committee, proudly announces its class of 2003 for induction November 1, 2003.

Scheduled to appear in Waco for the Induction Ceremonies and at the Texas Tennis Annual Awards Banquet in Fort Worth in February include US Davis Cup Team Member (1957, 1964), Christopher Crawford; #1 player in the world in Men's 75, Jason Morton; and outstanding sectional player and contributor to the game, Nancy Swenson.

Events surrounding the induction banquet include the first annual Hall of Fame Invitational Tournament, Hall of Fame Legends Reunion and the Waco International Challenger. There will be a ceremony honoring Nancy Richey, Texas Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 1983 and new member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame Sunday, November 2 between the singles and doubles finals of the Waco Challenger.

The Hall of Fame Legends Reunion and Reception - 6:00 pm Nov. 1, 2003
Texas Tennis Hall of Fame Induction Banquet- 7:00 pm Nov. 1, 2003 at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, off I-35 in Waco

Tickets to the Legends Reunion and Induction Banquet can be purchased from the Texas Tennis Museum ($55 each - $500 reserved table). Sponsorships are available.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Texas Tennis Museum & Hall of Fame and the Hall of Fame Scholarship. The mission of the museum is to preserve tennis history, educate the public about tennis and tennis history, and to provide role models for generations.

Enshrines from years past include Maureen Connolly Brinker, Zina Garrison, Randy Snow, Lori McNeil, Steve Denton, Dick Stockton, Tut Bartzen, George, Cliff and Nancy Richey, Wilmer Allison and many other tennis greats. For more information contact Greta Knoll, Executive Director Texas Tennis Museum & Hall of Fame (254) 756-2307

Christopher (Chris) Crawford Born July 31, 1939 in Piedmont, California, Crawford was the #10 player in USLTA in 1960 and played for the 1959 and 1964 US Davis Cups Teams. Crawford started playing at 14 after Frank Kovacs saw Crawford's athleticism during a neighborhood basketball game. At 17, Crawford made the finals of the Junior National Tournament at Kalamazoo. He represented the US for Junior Davis Cup (1956, 57, 58) and won the Orange Bowl Boy's 18 singles against Earl (Butch) Buchholz in1957. He was ranked #1 in Junior Singles 1957. Crawford played tennis for Menlo Park University and the University of Corpus Christi.

A hard-hitting all-court player with a powerful flat serve, Crawford's titles include the National Indoor Doubles, the National Hard-court Doubles and the National mixed Doubles. He had wins over Chuck McKinley, Frank Froeling, Ron Fisher, Jim Parker, Tut Bartzen, Gardnar Mulloy, and Barry McKay. Crawford's most memorable match was a five set match with Rod Laver, when he lost 14-16 (no tie breaks then) in a 1959 Davis Cup match in Australia.

Crawford took what he had learned and went into teaching. His career includes coaching at Schriner Institute, director of tennis at the Corpus Christi Racquet Club, management at Padre Isles Country Club, Director of Tennis at the Corpus Christi Athletic Club. He coached the Corpus Christi Advantage World Tennis Team prior to their move to Kansas City. Chris Crawford is currently the head teaching professional at the HEB Tennis Center in Kerrville, Texas.

Jason Morton seemed to come from nowhere when he first made his mark on tennis as a virtual unknown at the state championship in 1946. Since that time he has earned over 100 silver and gold national titles, authored a book and is currently the #1 player in the world in Men's 75 singles and holds the title for #1 in Men's 70 singles and doubles.

Morton moved to Texas in 1946. He attended the University of Houston (1947-1951), winning the conference title in singles and doubles each year (Lone Star, Gulf Coast, Missouri Valley). Morton was the first pro in Corpus Christi. He opened the University Club in Houston as the pro, the first indoor facility in Houston. After spending two years in the Hill Country, Morton went to Hollytree Country Club in Tyler. He stared a team at the University of Texas at Tyler, coming in 5th in the NAIA their first year. Morton then moved to Sun Lakes, Arizona as Tennis Director. He helped design the Oakwood Tennis Club, host to the National 70-75 Hard Court Championships.

Morton has served on the Executive Committee of the Texas Tennis Association and as President of the USPTA Texas Division. He may be most famous for having chair the match at the Billie Jean King -Bobby Riggs Battle of the Sexes Match at the Houston Astrodome. Morton has represented the US on eight international cup teams in over 100 matches and holds nine world titles (6 doubles, 3 singles). He co-authored the book "Winning Tennis After 40" with Russell Seymour (Class of 1999).

Nancy Swenson Born in New Jersey, Nancy Swenson moved to Texas in 1948. Her accomplishments include numerous sectional titles. She was ranked #1 in Texas five times in various divisions and was nationally ranked in the top five in the USTA with Nancy Penson (Class of 2002) in 1975 (in two divisions), 76, 77 and 80. Swenson was even the champion in both golf and tennis at the Dallas Country Club five times in each sport.

Nancy Swenson helped with the formation of the Dallas Tennis Association. She volunteered many hours over a number of years with the Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Tournament. She has also served as a role model for her own children's tennis. Her oldest son played on the North Carolina team. The second oldest played for Washington and Lee and the third was captain of the Yale tennis team.

Special ceremony honoring Nancy Richey Sunday, November 2, 2003
Nancy Richey was the World's No. 2 ranked player in 1969. She holds 6 Grand Slam titles: 2 career singles Championships (1967 Australian Championships, 1968 French Open Championships) and 4 Doubles Championships (Australian 1966, Wimbledon 1966, and US 1965 and 1966). In 1966, the only major tournament to elude Richey in doubles was the French Championships. She was also ranked in the World Top Ten for 11 years and ranked No. 1 in the US (1964, '65, '68, '69). She won the South American Singles Championships in 1964 (over Maria Bueno) and 1965. She reached two US National/Open singles finals (1966, 1969) as well as the Australian singles final (1966), and the French singles final (1966). She also was a finalist in the Italian Championships singles (1965) and the South African Championships singles (1969), as well as a finalist in the year-ending Virginia Slims Championships (1973). One of her most memorable matches was in 1968 against Billie Jean King, when she rallied from 6-4, 5-1 down to win 12 straight games for a dramatic semifinal victory on her way to winning the Madison Square Garden Championships in New York. Richey holds 69 career singles titles and is the only player ever to win the US Clay Court singles championships 6 consecutive times (1963-1968). At 5 feet 3 inches, she was a powerful baseliner and volleyer and a Fed Cup Team member in 1964, '68 and '69, helping the Americans to win in 1969.




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