SPORTS

Pancho Gonzalez inducted into US Open Court of Champions

By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pancho Gonzalez was inducted Saturday into the U.S. Open Court of Champions.

Gonzalez later became a fan favorite and a dominant player on the professional tour throughout the 1950s and '60s.

As a 40-year-old in 1968, when professionals were allowed back into competition at the grand slams, Gonzalez reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros and the quarter-finals of the inaugural U.S. Open.

"Pancho Gonzalez was not only a great champion but also a true pioneer in the sport of tennis," U.S. Tennis Association president Jon Vegosen said in a statement.

"He has served and will continue to serve as a role model for generations of Americans, especially Hispanic-American athletes, and I'm proud that his name will live forever amongst the greatest U.S. Open champions."

(Editing by Julian Linden)