One of the sport's best ambassadors, tennis pro Todd Martin was inducted into the U.S. Tennis Association/Midwest Section Hall of Fame in 2008.
During his 14 years on the ATP Tour, Todd achieved his career-high No. 4 singles ranking in 1999, and No. 30 doubles ranking in 1996.
Overall, he took eight singles titles and five doubles titles. He reached the finals of the 1994 Australian Open and 1999 U.S. Open, and the semi-finals of four Grand Slam tournaments. From 1994 to 2003, he competed on every U.S. Davis Cup team, winning a key doubles victory with Pete Sampras against the Russian team in 1995.
At the 2000 summer Olympic games in Sydney, he represented the United States. Todd was twice recognized by his peers with the ATP Sportsmanship Award. For eight years, he served as President of the ATP Player Council.
Todd's commitment to tennis continues today, having co-founded the Todd Martin Development Fund with his father, Dale Martin and his long-time coach and mentor, Rick Ferman. This growing and successful program provides leadership and life skills to Lansing area youth while developing their tennis skills to the fullest.
See "What Todd has been up to" recently.
In 1980 I was introduced to Rick Ferman in hopes that he could help continue my tennis education. At first, he was simply the pro at the club where we had just moved. Of course, a 10-year old doesn't always see everything that is truly there.
Rick was actually Managing Partner of Court One Athletic Clubs. He was also very involved in the Midwest Section, holding various roles and hosting the Midwest Closed 12s and 14s. He went on to chair the USTA Player Development Committee and then sat on the Board of Directors of the USTA. In 1996 he left the Board to become the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the USTA, the organization's highest ranking staff position. For the last several years, Rick has been President of Altheus Tennis and Director of Altheus Tennis Academy in Rye, NY.
Rick was the driving force behind everything that happened in the sport of tennis in Lansing, MI, during the ´70s, ´80s, and ´90s. Similarly, he was the orchestrator of Todd Martin Youth Leadership. His life's passion is tennis with a great focus on education. He is the mentor to me that I wish for all to be so fortunate to have. He continues to be a large part of my life both professionally and personally. We worked together with the Altheus Tennis Academy, and he is the Godfather to my oldest son, Jack.
Rick may have worked primarily behind the scenes, but everyone who has benefited from being a part of the
TMYL owes him a great deal of gratitude.
In many ways, it wasn't until my father, Dale Martin, passed away that I became aware of all that he had accomplished in his life. Reading his obituary was eye-opening for me, to see all the charities he had contributed his time to. Hearing his colleagues and friends speak at his Memorial service was even more humbling; I always saw my dad through my own eyes and not those of others. Simply put, my dad impacted the lives of many while maintaining a life centered in faith and family.
It may sound like a cliché but my dad did not teach by word as much as he taught by example. That being said, he wrote a very impactful letter to my sister, Amy, and me when we were young adults. The topic of the letter was Philanthropy. My father believed (as I now do) that we should give of our first fruits, devote ourselves to causes in whatever way we are capable (time, treasure, talent), and to be wise in our selection of charities to support.
My father was a labor-relations attorney with Goodyear in the 1970s followed by his tenure with Motor Wheel Corporation, where he served as Vice President and General Counsel until his retirement in 1996. He served on more boards than I can list and served as chairman for the Capital Region Community Foundation, Christian Business Men's Committee, and Todd Martin Development Fund to name a few.
His skills and experience in business and philanthropy made for critical contributions to the forming of
the TMDF. His guidance and love will always be my inspiration.