Induction Year: 2019
Cliff Drysdale is a former championship player and an outspoken and influential leader on issues on and off the court. While a top-ranked professional tennis player in the 1960s and early 1970s, he was ranked as high as No. 4 in the world, was in the top 10 six times and won 35 singles titles. Drysdale was one of the “Handsome Eight,” a group of players signed by Lamar Hunt in 1968 to play in the newly formed World Championship Tennis (WCT) series.
Drysdale was instrumental in the founding of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and served as its first president from 1972-1974. During that time, Drysdale moved his family to Lakeway to serve as the touring professional at “The World of Tennis,”a very unique first class tennis facility. He put the facility on the tennis map by hosting resort clinics, professional tournaments and a number of high profile events throughout his tenure.
Drysdale has been an ESPN tennis commentator for more than 40 years, since the network’s very first tennis telecast. He is the founder of Cliff Drysdale Tennis tennis manages 32 tennis related facilities now under the umbrella of Troon golf company. In 1998, he was awarded the USTA William Johnston award for his contributions to men’s tennis. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2013.