'Deep sadness': Tennis world in mourning over Hall of Famer's death

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Jane Brown Grimes, pictured here with Chris Evert at her the Hall of Fame induction in 2014.
Jane Brown Grimes with Chris Evert at her the Hall of Fame induction in 2014. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The tennis world is mourning the death of Hall of Fame executive Jane Brown Grimes.

Brown Grimes died on Wednesday at age 80, sparking an outpouring of grief around the tennis world.

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“Jane devoted her life to the sport of tennis, and the sport benefited greatly from her intelligence, grace and dedication,” USTA Chairman of the Board and President Mike McNulty said. 

“With her unparalleled dignity, Jane grew our sport from the most local grassroots to the highest levels of the professional game. She will be missed.”

Brown Grimes was a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and a former managing director at the WTA.

"It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of ITHF hall of famer and president Jane Brown Grimes," the WTA said.

"She broke down barriers for women in the sport world and helped create a better future for the WTA."

Brown Grimes opened a New York development office for the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1977.

She was the Rhode Island-based Hall’s Executive Director from 1981-86, then its President and CEO from 1991-2000, overseeing the restoration of its historic buildings and grounds.

In 1986 she became the Managing Director of the Women’s Professional Tennis Council, the precursor to the WTA.

Jane Brown Grimes, pictured here during the Hall of Fame Tennis Class of 2014.
Jane Brown Grimes is introduced during the Hall of Fame Tennis Class of 2014. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Tennis world mourns death of Jane Brown Grimes

She was the Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of the US Tennis Association in 2007-08.

“As the leader of three major tennis organisations, Jane had a tremendously positive and wide-ranging impact across the sport,” former Hall CEO Mark Stenning said.

“She was an astute leader who approached everything with the highest level of grace, skill, and intelligence.

"I am grateful to have counted her as my friend and mentor.”

Brown Grimes was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2014.

“Jane has served tennis on every level. No other person has ever run three major organisations in tennis," Chris Evert said at the time.

"She broke down barriers that women faced in the workplace, pushed back gender roles, and did it all with grace. 

"Over the decades I watched Jane work her magic with intelligence, savvy, and integrity. Her skilled diplomacy was key to the survival of the WTA.”

Brown Grimes is survived by two sons, a daughter, five grandchildren and her brother, according to the Hall.

with Associated Press

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