Mid-Atlantic

Introducing the 2023 Hall of Fame Class

October 12, 2023


Stellar Tennis Visionaries and Contributors Selected for 2023 Centennial Hall of Fame Class

In a landmark moment during its Centennial Celebration, the USTA Mid-Atlantic Foundation proudly unveils the distinguished 2023 Hall of Fame Class. These remarkable inductees, the first in a decade, have been carefully selected for their outstanding contributions to the sport of tennis and its growth within the region and beyond. 

 

Over the past 35 years, a total of 78 trailblazers (including Arthur Ashe, Donald Dell, Pam Shriver and Mark Ein) have been inducted into the USTA Mid-Atlantic Hall of Fame, embodying the essence of tennis excellence and sportsmanship.

  

Hosted by USTA Mid-Atlantic Hall of Famer and tennis broadcaster Pam Shriver, the centennial Hall of Fame class will be honored during the Centennial Gala, presented by Trustar Bank on December 1. The Centennial Gala will bring the Mid-Atlantic tennis community and generous supporters together for a night that will launch the USTA Mid-Atlantic Foundation mission and vision for tennis in EVERY community into the next 100 years.

Gustavo “Gus” Castillo

For nearly six decades, Gustavo "Gus" Castillo has been an enduring force in the world of tennis. Starting as a humble ball boy in Bogota, Colombia, he worked after school until dark to help support his brothers and sisters after his father died. A self-taught player, Gus rose to prominence, becoming Colombia's No. 1 junior and senior player. His journey as a professional tennis player took him to prestigious heights, representing Colombia three times in Davis Cup competition and playing the professional circuit for seven years. Later Gus dedicated himself to teaching some of Mid-Atlantic’s greatest players. Many decades later, Gus remains a dedicated tournament competitor, a committed teaching professional astute in the latest best practices and certifications, and the owner of a premier court construction and maintenance business. He generously shares his personal clay and grass courts for aspiring Mid-Atlantic players to prepare on these surfaces prior to their competitions, showcasing his enduring dedication to the sport he has grown for more than 60 years. 

 


Page Crosland

Page Crosland, a tennis advocate since the early 1980s, worked extensively to promote tennis accessibility in underserved Washington communities. She contributed to the construction of the William H.G. Fitzgerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park and served as the Director of Communications for the United States Tennis Association (USTA) from 1992-2000. Page's pivotal moment came in 1997 when she advocated for naming the largest tennis stadium to honor Arthur Ashe, leading to the inauguration of Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA National Tennis Center. She continued her tennis service, notably in the Advocacy and Public Affairs Committee, and orchestrated events to promote tennis with Congressional leadership, involving personalities including Venus and Serena Williams. Page's dedication spans multiple decades, consistently supporting grassroots events that foster tennis-based community building.

 


David Crossland

David Crossland's tennis journey began through his mother's (Page Crosland) passion and the guidance of his high school coach, Allie Ritzenberg at St. Albans School, instilling the ethos of "giving back." He started volunteering at youth clinics in his early teens and eventually managed the National Cathedral tennis courts for multiple summers. His dedication led him to volunteer for eight years in the US Open Media Center under his mother's leadership. Upon returning to Washington, DC in 2004, David reconnected with the USTA, deeply engaging in volunteer work and leadership roles. From serving on various committees (DC District Nominating Committee, and Chair of the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section Volunteer Committee, Learning & Leadership Development Committee, National Awards Committee) to being elected as an officer on the USTA Mid-Atlantic Board of Directors, David's commitment, and love for tennis and the USTA shine through.

 


Vicki Datlow

Vicki Datlow’s passion for tennis began in Baltimore during summers playing tennis wherever she could. These early days were the foundation to a legacy of giving back to the sport. Following her collegiate tennis career at Rollins College, she played a pivotal role in establishing and growing renowned tennis academies such as Dennis Ralston’s Tennis Camp, the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, the Harry Hopman Tennis Academy, and working with visionaries Donald Dell and Ray Benton. In the Mid-Atlantic region, Vicki was a trailblazer as one of the nation's first female tennis leaders. In the early 1970’s she was at the helm of a newly developed tennis club in Columbia, MD and later in that decade opened and established programs at the Aspen Hill Club. Vicki's impactful journey involved spearheading tennis development at prominent centers such as Bullis Tennis Center, Regency Sport & Health, and the Montgomery TennisPlex. She was instrumental teaching tennis, hosting and running substantial tournaments and programs, leagues, and special events that broke barriers and gave people an introduction to tennis. Her work influenced thousands of players. Vicki’s passion to grow tennis and make it easily accessible inspired her to organize innovative events and programs such as the first College Night with Dede Allen and Early Development Camps that helped hundreds of young players. She partnered with tennis industry leaders such as Wilson, Dunlop, Head, and the Washington Kastles to support grassroots tennis. Vicki actively contributed to the USTA Mid-Atlantic as a volunteer, serving on committees for nearly 30 years. She received the USTA Maryland Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Maryland Tennis and Award for Junior Development. Vicki began tournament play as a teenager, quickly rising to No. 1 in the Mid-Atlantic and twice had a semifinals finish at the USTA National Indoor Championships. As an adult, Vicki competed in area and national tournaments, club leagues and USTA Leagues for more than 50 years, obtaining national rankings in many age divisions. Currently Vicki is working with the Montgomery County Tennis and Education Foundation promoting and teaching in middle school after school tennis programs.

 

 


Sara Fornaciari

Sara Fornaciari, a trailblazing figure in sports marketing and management, has dedicated five decades to elevating tennis. Starting her career as the first female intern in the Sports Department at the Washington Post in 1973, she later joined ProServ and became the world's first female sports agent/attorney in 1978 where she was the only female member of the Board of Directors. As a member of the District of Columbia Bar for more than 45 years, Sara has represented tennis and golf Hall of Famers including Tracy Austin, Pam Shriver, and Hollis Stacy, among others. In 1990, she founded Sports+Plus, a full-service marketing, sponsorship and fundraising firm working with notable clients such as: the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), United States International Tennis Club (USIC), and US Skiing. She is one of only eight women in the 50-year history of the WTA Tour to own and operate a WTA Tour tournament/She owned and promoted the IGA Tennis Classic in Oklahoma City from 1990 - 2001. In addition, Sara has been responsible for creating and promoting numerous successful tennis exhibitions drawing 4,000-5,000 fans and raising critical funds benefiting Oracene Price’s OWL Foundation for academically at-risk youth, supporting JDRF and the Baltimore Community Foundation, and the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Recognized for her many volunteer roles from 1992 - 2010, she received the USTA / Mid-Atlantic Section Lifetime Service Award and served as co-chair of the USTA Davis Cup and Fed Cup Committees (two terms) and chaired the USTA’s Marketing and Public Relations Committees (two terms). Even today, she remains an active force in tennis as a current member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame Customer Engagement Committee and continues to serve women’s tennis using her legal skills as the recording Secretary for the WTA Worldwide Tournaments while continuing marketing and fundraising efforts for the WTA Foundation, USTA Foundation, JTCC and Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program, and promoting Bob and Mike Bryan and the Bryan Brothers Foundation.

 


Joni Hannah

Joni Hannah, a nationally ranked Junior player, clinched USTA national championships in the Girls' 14 and Under Nationals and the Sugar Bowl. Her journey continued through college on a full four-year scholarship to Rollins College, where she competed in the NCAA Division I Championships. Later in life, Joni achieved No. 1 national rankings for both singles and doubles and a No. 7 world ranking in singles in her age group on the women’s Senior tennis circuit, winning numerous national titles, and representing the United States in international team competitions. During her 25-year career as a Director of Tennis at Westwood Country Club in Vienna, VA, she was the recipient of the USTA Virginia Division Teaching Pro of the Year, USPTA Mid-Atlantic Tennis Professional of the Year, and was the first female tennis professional inducted into the USPTA Mid-Atlantic Hall of Fame. Recognized as one of the DC Metro area’s 10 greatest tennis players and contributors, she continues to serve the tennis community as the Executive Director of the USPTA Mid-Atlantic Division while still actively teaching tennis.


Jim Thompson

Since 1998 while serving as the head men's tennis coach at Virginia Tech, Jim Thompson has led the team to impressive heights. The Hokies have seen postseason success 15 times and achieving 24 qualifications for the NCAA singles/doubles field. Under Jim's guidance in the ACC, Virginia Tech has achieved a national ranking every season except for one and has had at least one player ranked in the singles standings every year since 2002. His impact extends beyond the courts, emphasizing character and sportsmanship, evident from his Sportsmanship awards both as a college player at Davidson College and as a coach.  An active contributor to the tennis community, he conducts weekly tennis clinics and launched a Wheelchair program in Blacksburg. In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Jim has served on the ITA Rules Committee and has been a member of the ITA Operating Committee. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the ITA Atlantic Region -- embodying a commitment to the sport and its accessibility.


Frances Tiafoe

Born in Maryland in 1998 to parents who immigrated from Sierra Leone, Frances Tiafoe embraced tennis early on, shaped by his father's dedication as head of maintenance at the Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC) in College Park, MD. At age 4, he began tennis lessons, rising to be a leading American ATP player and achieving a career-high ranking of ATP world No. 10 in 2023 at the age of 25. Winning his first ATP title when he was 20-years-old, he made history as the youngest American champion since Andy Roddick in 2002. Recent notable achievements include a semifinal finish at the 2022 US Open when he upset four-time champion Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals and clinching a 2022 and 2023 Laver Cup victory for Team World. A voice for change, Frances initiated the "Racquets Down, Hands Up" movement in 2020, advocating for social justice and earning him the 2020 Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award. Frances also supports ThanksUSA, aiding military families, and recently launched the “Frances Tiafoe Fund” to support NJTL programs for underserved youth.  Frances’ inspiring journey resonates with aspiring tennis players and fans alike, embodying hope and promise for the future.

 


At the heart of this prestigious induction lies the diligent work of the Hall of Fame Task Force, steered by Chairperson Joan Ray. The Task Force studied submissions and carefully selected individuals whose contributions epitomize the very essence of tennis brilliance and its profound impact on the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond.

 

Eager to witness the enshrinement of tennis legends into the Hall of Fame?  We invite you to join us at the Centennial Gala on December 1, and to be a part of the tennis celebration of the century. By sponsoring or purchasing our exclusive table packages, not only will you enjoy a front-row seat to this unforgettable evening, but you will also contribute importantly to the continued legacy and growth of tennis in the Mid-Atlantic region.  Don't miss this chance to witness history and be a vital part of the bright future of tennis in our region!

 

This year USTA Mid-Atlantic Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is celebrating 100 years of promoting tennis and its physical, social, and emotional health benefits. Get involved and show your support for the next 100 years of tennis. Learn about our impact in the region and how USTA Mid-Atlantic creates community, character, and well-being.

 

To stay up to date on all things tennis in the Mid-Atlantic make sure to follow USTA Mid-Atlantic on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

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