The world mourns the death of Jane Brown Grimes

Jane Brown Grimes with Chris Evert on his Hall of Fame induction in 2014 (Photo by Steven Ryan / Icon SMI / Corbis / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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

Brown Grimes died at the age of 80 on Wednesday, sparking a wave of grief in the tennis world.

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

“With her unparalleled dignity, Jane has taken our sport from the most local level to the highest levels of professional gaming. She will be missed.

Brown Grimes was a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and a former general manager of the WTA.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Hall of Fame and ITHF President Jane Brown Grimes,” said the WTA.

“She broke barriers for women in the world of sport 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 Executive Director of the Rhode Island Hall from 1981 to 1986, then President and CEO from 1991 to 2000, overseeing the restoration of its historic buildings and grounds.

In 1986, she became CEO 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 featured at the Hall of Fame Tennis Class of 2014 (Photo by Steven Ryan / Icon SMI / Corbis / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The tennis world mourns the death of Jane Brown Grimes

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

“As the leader of three major tennis organizations, Jane has had an extremely positive and far-reaching impact on the sport,” said former Hall CEO Mark Stenning.

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

“I am grateful that I counted her as my friend and mentor.”

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

“Jane has served tennis at all levels. No other person has ever run three big tennis organizations, ”said Chris Evert at the time.

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

“Over the decades, I have watched Jane work her magic with intelligence, discernment and integrity. Her skillful 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 Hall.

with Associated Press

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