18-time Grand Slam Champion Leander Paes and tennis legend Vijay Amritraj have both been nominated to receive the Ultimate Honor in Tennis.
Paes is nominated in the Hall of Fame’s Player Category and Amritraj in the Contributor Category.
Fans can participate in the Player Category voting on vote.tennisfame.com from September 27 – October 9.
SEPTEMBER 26, NEWPORT, R.I, U.S.A., – Indian tennis greats Leander Paes and Vijay Amritraj are nominated for the Ultimate Honor in Tennis, induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Paes, who was ranked world No. 1 in doubles and won 18 Grand Slam titles, is nominated in the Player Category. Amritraj, an Indian Davis Cup legend and leading ambassador in growing the sport in Asia, is nominated in the Hall of Fame’s Contributor Category. Both are included on the Class of 2024 ballot and make history as the first Indian men to be nominated for Hall of Fame induction.
Induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame represents the sport’s ultimate honor, with a sum of the honoree’s achievements and impact as being amongst the greatest in the sport’s history. Throughout tennis history, the honor has been presented to 264 people from 27 nations.
Paes is nominated in the Player Category, which recognizes excellence at the highest level of international competition. Paes is one of six players nominated this year, as detailed below. Amritraj is nominated in the Contributor Category, which recognizes off court contribution, honoring those who have made a transcendent impact on the sport globally. He is one of two nominees in this category.
Now that the Class of 2024 ballot is set, the next phase of the induction process will be voting to determine who will be inducted. The Official Voting Group comprised of tennis journalists, historians, and Hall of Famers, will cast their ballots over the next month. Additionally, fans around the globe also have the opportunity to weigh in on which Player Category nominees are deserving of Hall of Fame induction during ITHF Fan Voting, which is open September 27 – October 9.
Fans can vote for as many of the candidates they deem deserving at https://vote.tennisfame.com/?v=1. The top three candidates in the Fan Vote will receive added percentage points to their vote totals from the Official Voting Group, with first place earning three percentage points, second place two percentage points, and third place one percentage point. To be elected to the Hall of Fame, candidates must receive an affirmative vote of at least 75% or higher from the combined total of the Official Voting Group result, and any bonus percentage points earned in the Fan Vote.
Fan Voting does not apply to the Contributor Category, which is determined by the Official Voting Group only.
Voting results will be announced in early November.
Class of 2024 Ballot
The International Tennis Hall of Fame’s full Class of 2024 ballot is:
- Cara Black of Zimbabwe, former doubles world No. 1 and a 10-time Grand Slam champion in doubles and mixed doubles
- Ana Ivanović of Serbia, former world No. 1 and 2008 French Open champion
- Carlos Moyá of Spain, winner of the 1998 French Open and former world No. 1
- Daniel Nestor of Canada, a former doubles world No. 1 and winner of 12 major titles in doubles and mixed doubles
- Leander Paes of India, winner of 18 Grand Slam titles in doubles and mixed doubles and a former doubles world No. 1
- Flavia Pennetta of Italy, former doubles world No. 1 and 2015 US Open singles champion
- Vijay Amritraj, former top-20 ATP player who broke barriers as the first Indian player to have success in tennis on global stage, and went on to serve the sport as TV presenter and unofficial ambassador for tennis in India.
- Richard Evans, British tennis journalist and historian who has reported the sport for six decades, covering more than 200 Grand Slam tournaments
Leander Paes Nominated in the International Tennis Hall of Fame Player Category
The Player Category recognizes ATP and WTA players who have achieved a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level.
“It means the world to me that I am the first Asian man to be nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame in the Player Category,” said Paes. “After three decades of passion for our sport and playing for 1.3-plus billion Indians in the Olympics and Davis Cup, I am thrilled that my hard work has been recognized. I have so much gratitude for my parents, siblings, coaches, Davis Cup captains and everyone who has played a role in my career.”
“Tennis has given me so much, and I hope this nomination inspires every young kid around the world that with passion in your heart, hard work and belief in yourself, you too can become a champion.”
In a career defined by longevity at the top, Leander Paes broke new ground in accomplishments in Indian tennis. In a career that spanned three decades, he captured 18 Grand Slam titles, including eight in doubles, 10 in mixed doubles, and a career Slam in both disciplines. Paes spent a total of 462 weeks inside the ATP doubles top 10, including 37 weeks at No. 1, and won 55 doubles titles on tour. A Davis Cup mainstay for India for 30 years, he holds the competition’s record with 43 doubles ties won. In 1996, he became India’s only Olympic medalist in tennis, earning bronze at the Atlanta Games.
Paes and countryman Mahesh Bhupathi together won three Grand Slams between 1999 and 2001, and 26 ATP titles. Paes additionally captured doubles Slams with three other partners and mixed doubles Slams with four different partners, including Hall of Famers Martina Hingis and Martina Navratilova. To date, Paes and Navratilova remain tied for most Grand Slam mixed doubles titles in the Open Era.
Vijay Amritraj Nominated in the International Tennis Hall of Fame Contributor Category
The Contributor Category are considered for induction into the Hall of Fame every two years. The category recognizes true pioneers, visionary leaders, or individuals / groups who have made a transcendent impact on the sport.
Vijay Amritraj has broken barriers and transcended the sport of tennis on and off the court. As a player in the 1970s and 1980s, his success on court helped to popularize tennis in India and beyond on the Asian continent. Amritraj served as President of the ATP Players’ Council and on the ATP Board. A stalwart for India’s Davis Cup, he led his nation’s team to two finals (1974, 1987), playing a key role in diplomacy and sportsmanship for India in both appearances.
For three decades, Amritraj has been the face of tennis broadcasting in Asia, India and the Middle East, first appearing with Prime Sports in 1992 to cover the Grand Slams. He has also notably used his profile for the good of humanity. Among many accolades for helping others, he became the first Indian to serve as United Nations Messenger of Peace (2001-06). In 2006, Amritraj launched the Vijay Amritraj Foundation with the purpose of providing housing, education, and basic needs for women and children in India’s neediest communities.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving and promoting tennis history and celebrating its greatest champions, and inspiring the future. The Hall of Fame’s physical location is in Newport, Rhode Island USA, which is the site of an extensive tennis museum, and the organization serves the global tennis community via digital programming and special events.
For additional information on the Class of 2024 nominees, Fan Voting and the ITHF’s induction process, visit tennisfame.com/class-of-2024-ballot