USTA NEW ENGLAND ANNOUNCES 2018 HALL OF FAME CLASS
May 2, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: James Maimonis
Communications and Engagement Coordinator
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USTA NEW ENGLAND ANNOUNCES 2018 HALL OF FAME CLASS
WESTBOROUGH, MA- USTA New England is pleased to announce its 2018 Hall of Fame class. Teryn Ashley Fitch, Jonathan H. Bates and Heather Crowe Conner will be enshrined at a ceremony on June 9 at the International Hall of Fame in Newport, RI.
“These three exceptional individuals have dedicated their lives to tennis and we are proud to have them eternally part of the New England tennis family. It is our privilege to honor Teryn, Jonathan and Heather amongst the greats that came before them and induct them as part of the Class of 2018,” said USTA New England President and CEO, Peter Parrotta.
The USTA New England Hall of Fame exists to recognize those tennis players and non-players in New England whose achievements as sportsmen or sportswomen are worthy of the highest commendation and recognition, or whose contributions as officials or individuals in a tennis-related activity have been so outstanding over a significant period of time as to justify the highest commendation and recognition.ADVERTISEMENT
Teryn Ashley Fitch, Ann Arbor, MI (Hometown- Chestnut Hill, MA)
Teryn Ashley Fitch has had success at every level she’s competed in. As a New England junior, she held the No. 1 ranking in the 16s and 18s division while compiling three Sectional Championship titles. She went on to attend Stanford University, where she became a five-time All-American in singles and doubles, was a two-time national champion and became the top ranked doubles player nationally.
Following her collegiate career, Ashley Fitch competed professionally on the WTA tour from 2001 to 2006. She achieved a career high world doubles ranking of No. 59 and high singles ranking of No. 95. She won 17 ITF Tour titles, won the ASB Bank Championship in doubles (WTA Tour) and competed in singles and doubles in the main draws of all four Grand Slams.
Ashley Fitch is currently the Associate Head Coach of the University of Michigan’s women’s tennis team.
“I’m super honored to be inducted. I have tremendous pride in my New England roots and so many fond memories about growing up in the USTA New England Section,” Ashley Fitch said.”
Ashley Fitch will be presented by Allison Friedlander.
Jonathan H. Bates, Stamford, CT
Jonathan H. Bates has been playing tennis in New England for more than 60 years. From a top 10 junior ranking and high school state champion to No. 1 ranked tournament player, Bates has competed with some of the best the section has to offer.
He served as a two-year captain at Amherst College and immediately transitioned into a successful tournament player upon graduation. Bates has been a regular member of the Atlantic Coast Cup 45s and 55s teams and has held top doubles rankings in the New England 45s, 50s and 55s with partners Harlan Stone and Steve Radigan. Bates and Stone also held a number of national doubles rankings, including a high of No. 10.
“While I am not sure if I am worthy to join the list of current members, and I am certain that there are many others not enshrined who are more eligible than I am, it is an incredible honor to be selected for induction into the USTA New England Hall of Fame. It is a distinction I will cherish forever,” Bates said.
Bates will be presented by Harlan Stone.
Heather Crowe Conner, West Newbury, MA
Heather Crowe Conner didn’t achieve her first junior ranking until the 16s division. In just two years, she worked her way up from No. 21 in the 16s to No. 3 in the 18s. She carried the momentum into college, where she received a full scholarship to Indiana University.
At Indiana, Crowe Conner became a two time All-American in both singles and doubles, helped her team to four Big Ten championships as well as the AIAW (Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women) national title in 1982. She also won the AIAW national singles title in 1982 and was a recipient of the Broderick Award for top female tennis player in the nation.
In 1994, she became the first female inductee into the Indiana University Hall of Fame.
As a professional, Crowe Conner achieved a high doubles ranking of No. 96 in the world and high singles of No. 223. She competed in each Grand Slam on five different occasions, with the exception of the US Open (six times).
After retirement, she became a USPTA certified coach and taught at the high school and college level as well as at a local club.
Crowe Conner will be presented by Stephen Crowe.
In conjunction with the Hall of Fame enshrinement, Michael Louis Mercier, of Beverly, MA, will receive the 2018 Gardner Ward Chase Memorial Award, USTA New England’s lifetime achievement award.
Mercier is the head tennis professional at Harvard University. In his role, He provides individual, group and private instruction for over 100,000 Harvard alumni, family and affiliates. He volunteers and serves as a leader for Harvard community programs including: Harvard University Men/Women Club Tennis Team, Tenacity, Special Olympics, Wheelchair Tennis, Harvard Alumni events, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Tennis teams’ racquet stringing, among others.
Outside of Harvard, Mercier has volunteered in New England tennis for more than 40 years at hundreds of events. He has worked with players of all ability from beginners to top New England juniors and professionals. He is also a volunteer coach at his hometown Beverly High School.
Mercier currently serves as the USPTA New England President and has served on a number of USTA New England boards and committees. He was the immediate past chair of the Wheelchair Committee.
To visit the New England Hall of Fame webpage, click here.
About USTA New England
USTA New England, one of 17 regional sections across the country that comprise the United States Tennis Association (USTA), is a not-for-profit organization committed to promoting and developing the growth of tennis and increasing participation in the sport in New England by offering quality recreational and competitive programs for people of all ages and abilities. For more information, visit www.usta.com/newengland.