Clijsters, Roddick head Hall of Fame's Class of 2017 - Metro US

Clijsters, Roddick head Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017

Andy Roddick of the U.S and Kim Clijsters of Belgium laugh during a fundraising exhibition "Hit for Haiti" for the victims of the Haiti earthquake ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 17, 2010. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas

(Reuters) – Former world number one players Kim Clijsters and Andy Roddick headlined the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s list of 2017 inductees announced on Monday.

Belgium’s Clijsters, bolstered by a powerful baseline game and remarkable defensive skills on court, captured 41 singles titles during her career, including four grand slam titles.

“It is a huge honor to be amongst a list of so many great tennis players who I admired when I was growing up, and some great players who I played with in my tennis career as well,” Clijsters said in a statement released by the Hall of Fame.

A dedicated Fed Cup team member who led her country to a first title in 2001 and into the finals again in 2006, Clijsters also won doubles titles at the French Open and Wimbledon and was the world’s number one player for 19 weeks.

She first retired from tennis in 2007 but returned to the sport in 2009 and, in only her third tournament back, won that year’s U.S Open as an unseeded and wild card entry.

Roddick, known for his fast and powerful serve, held the world number one ranking for 13 weeks and won his only grand slam title at the 2003 U.S. Open.

A three-time runner-up at Wimbledon, Roddick won 32 career singles titles and was a dedicated member of the U.S. Davis Cup effort, including in 2007 when he was instrumental in leading his team to victory over Russia.

“I love this sport and I love being part of it,” said Roddick. “I’m moved to know that my presence in the sport will be forever part of tennis history.”

The Class of 2017 will be officially inducted on July 22 at the Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto. Editing by Steve Keating.)

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