Michael Stich and Helena Sukova are Hall of Famers
Michael Stich and Helena Sukova have been inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame. I would argue that a lot of tennis fans out there are probably not very familiar with either of them – especially U.S. fans. If they do remember them it’s because of their consistency at Wimbledon. Sukova is a four-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist, and a three-time Wimbledon doubles champion. Michael Stich is a Wimbledon winner, in both singles and doubles. While both of these careers are Hall of Fame worthy, I would give the nod to Michael Stich’s career as the more memorable of the two.
Nothing against Helena Sukova, but Michael Stich beat a Boris Becker in his prime for that 1991 Wimbledon crown. That’s no easy feat. Also, he beat him in straight sets. From 1985 to 1995, Boris Becker participated in seven Wimbledon Finals, winning three titles. That’s a heck of a record. Boris Becker was considered the King of Grass in the late 80s. That win was a as big as it got for Michael Stich.
For the record, Michael Stich participated in two other Grand Slam Finals. Unfortunately, he ended up on the losing end of a resurgent Andre Agassi in at the US Open in 1994 and an in-form Yevgeny Kafelnikov at the 1996 French Open. Both those players are former multiple Grand Slam winners and former number one’s. Also, Michael Stich won the end of the year ATP World Championships in 1993, beating world number one Pete Sampras in the final.
Finally, and because I am a John McEnroe super fan, I will remember Michael best for his doubles win with McEnroe at Wimbledon in 1992. John McEnroe was playing his last Wimbledon, where he reached the Semifinals only to lose to my second favorite player of all time, Andre Agassi. The disappointment McEnroe fans suffered with his loss in the Semifinals was definitely alleviated with that wonderful doubles win that ended 19-17 in the fifth. It took two days for this match to end!
Either way, both these inductees are worthy. Congratulations to both!