Former world No. 1 golfer Annika Sorenstam and Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, wife of the late Arthur Ashe, will present Martina Navratilova with the Eugene L. Scott Award from the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the 30th annual Legends Ball on Friday, Sept. 10, 2010 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. Polly Scott will also participate in the presentation of the award, which is given in honor of her late husband, Eugene, founder of Tennis Week magazine.
The Eugene L. Scott Award, presented annually since 2006, honors an individual who embodies Scott’s commitment to communicating honestly and critically about the game, and who has had a significant impact on the tennis world. Scott founded Tennis Week magazine and wrote the most widely read and well-respected column about the sport, “Vantage Point” until his death in March 2006. Previous recipients of the award have been: John McEnroe (2006); Andre Agassi (2007); Billie Jean King (2008); and Arthur Ashe and his wife Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe (2009).
“In addition to the fact that they are personal friends of Martina, we felt that Annika’s legendary athletic career combined with Jeanne’s extensive work for social change, perfectly embody what Martina has meant to tennis and society for the past three decades,” said Christopher E. Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. “We know their presence will make this an even more special moment for Martina and everyone attending the 2010 Legends Ball, and we appreciate their enthusiasm and support.”
Annika Sorenstam is the greatest female golfer of our generation and often regarded as the best of all-time. During her 15-year Hall of Fame career, she rewrote the LPGA and Ladies European Tour record books, won countless awards and changed the way women’s golf was played, viewed, and covered. She amassed 89 worldwide professional victories, including 72 LPGA wins, ten of which are Major Championships. Annika stepped away from professional golf after the 2008 season to focus on her family and the ANNIKA brand of businesses, including the ANNIKA Academy, ANNIKA Financial Group, ANNIKA Course Design, the ANNIKA Collection of apparel with Cutter & Buck, signature high-end wines with Wente Vineyards and an online retail shop, shopannika.com. In 2007, Annika created the ANNIKA Foundation as a way to teach children the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition, and offer aspiring junior golfers opportunities to pursue their dreams. In 2008, Annika joined Arnold Palmer as only the second Ambassador of the United States Golf Association, and in 2009, along with Jack Nicklaus, she was named a Global Ambassador by the International Golf Federation and aided in the successful bid for golf in the 2016 Olympic Games. Annika will serve as a vice-captain for the 2011 European Solheim Cup Team at Killeen Castle in County Meath, Ireland, September 23 - 25. Annika and her husband Mike McGee have a daughter, Ava Madelyn McGee who will turn one year old on September 1.
Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe has devoted many years to civic causes in health, arts, education and urban issues. While pursuing her primary profession as a photographer, she produced a body of work that focuses on the social ramifications of the historical outcomes of slavery, the expressly intimate moments of a family in the face of personal tragedy and a broad engagement of the history of photography. Her work has appeared in Life, Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated, Ebony, Essence, People and The New York Times and has been shown in solo and group exhibitions around the world. The author of five books, she most recently published the 25th Anniversary Edition of “Daufuskie Island: Photographs by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe,” winner of the Essence Literary Award in photography. Moutoussamy-Ashe is a director of the Arthur Ashe Endowment for the Defeat of AIDS and serves on the President’s Council of The Cooper Union, of which she is also a former trustee. In 2008, she founded the Arthur Ashe Learning Center, a nonprofit organization which administers the Web site www.ArthurAshe.org, of which she is also the president.
The Legends Ball, held annually since 1980, brings the tennis world together to celebrate the history of the game and to honor some of the sport’s great contributors; all while raising money for the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. This special night of celebration will honor a host of tennis luminaries including the Class of 2010, which features the extraordinary doubles teams of Gigi Fernandez & Natasha Zvereva, Todd Woodbridge & Mark Woodforde, mixed doubles champion Owen Davidson, Derek Hardwick, an influential tennis administrator and Brad Parks, the first ever wheelchair tennis inductee, who is also one of the pioneering founders of the wheelchair game. A legendary line-up of tennis greats will also be in attendance, including more than a dozen Hall of Famers and tennis dignitaries. In addition to presenting the Eugene L. Scott Award, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum will also present the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award to Mercedes-Benz.
Guests can also bid on once-in-a-lifetime experiences and unique items in a silent and live auction. In the past, auction items have included hit sessions with tennis luminaries Pete Sampras, Jim Courier and Monica Seles; ticket and travel packages to Grand Slam events; golf at legendary courses like Winged Foot; and autographed tennis memorabilia from Roger Federer, James Blake and Andre Agassi.