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Fran Chandler Selected for Southern Tennis Hall of Fame


Fran Chandler Selected for Southern Tennis Hall of Fame


ATLANTA – October 27, 2014 – USTA Southern announced today that standout adult tennis player Fran Chandler, of Jackson Tenn., has been named as a 2015 inductee into the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame.

Chandler, along with Brenda Carter, of Charleston, S.C., and former ATP World Tour player John Sadri, of Charlotte, N.C., are scheduled to be inducted into the hall at the USTA Southern Annual Meeting in January.

Chandler has made her mark in Southern tennis in the collegiate and adult arenas, earning 12 USTA national championships in singles and five in doubles.

The Jackson, Tenn., native has captured national titles, notable records and international accolades. She began her quest to tennis fame in 1980 as runner-up in the TSSAA State Singles individual tournament while attending Jackson Central Merry High School.

As a member of the Murray State University squad, Chandler played No. 1 singles and doubles, posting a 52-6 singles record. These results would earn her the Murray State Female Athlete of the Year in 1980. The following fall, Chandler transferred to the University of Mississippi where head coach Billy Chadwick presided. She earned All-SEC honors in 1983 and 1984, and another Female Athlete of the Year award in 1984 at Ole Miss.

Fran and Willie Chandler married in 1985. Just two years later, the duo would become champions of the Equitable National Husband and Wife Mixed Doubles Event.

One factor that distinguishes Fran from other players is the consistency of her results.  During the years of 2001-2012, Chandler ended the year at No. 1 in the United States seven times. Fran finished within the top three four other years during this time period.

Also, this year Fran is currently ranked No. 1 in the 50 & Over division in the United States, No. 1 in the world and will the official year-end No. 1 in the world.

Arguably her most successful year was in 2008 when she scored three of the biggest titles, the 45s National Clay, Indoor and Hard Court championships in singles and the clay and hard titles in doubles. Chandler would defend her title at the 45s National Clay Court Championships in 2009. She would capture two more national titles in 2010. In 2012, she made two finals appearances in the National Indoor and Clay 50s singles events. Chandler swept the National Clay 50s event by winning both the singles and doubles titles.

Not only was Chandler successful in the States but she also has had an illustrious international career. Beginning in 2003, Chandler represented the United States in the World Cup Team, when the team won the Young Cup. The team captured three Margaret Court Cup titles when Chandler served as team captain. As a member of the USA team on the 2013 Maria Esther Bueno Cup, the team finished first in the ITF. World Individual titles in doubles in 2008 and the singles title in 2010 would land Chandler atop International Tennis Federation (ITF) standings those years. Chandler won her second world singles title this past year at the World Individual 50s singles event.

Fran’s contribution to the game is much more than records and trophies. Cindy Babb, USTA Southern Adult Competition Chairman, has always been impressed with Fran’s physical ability, “I have always admired Fran’s dedication to her sport and the professionalism with which she prepares for competition.” When asked about Fran, Carolyn Nichols, a fellow competitor who runs the National Senior Women's Tennis Association website, explained "She's extremely humble, yet one of the best players in the world in her age divisions.” Nichols stated that no matter the outcome, the real joy came from sharing the court with such a fine player.

This will be the third Hall of Fame induction for Fran. She is already a member of the Jackson-Madison County Hall of Fame and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. She is also the USTA Southern Senior Slew Hester Female Player of the Year in 2008.

"Being able to travel the world and meet so many wonderful players and to observe the sportsmanship has been an award in itself!" Chandler reflected. "I am so thankful for the many friends that I have gained in the process. I am also both thankful for and indebted to those who have shown me the way."

Chandler continues to reside in her hometown of Jackson. Off the court, Chandler is a full time pharmacist serving the community for the past 29 years.