India's legendary player and multiple Grand Slam tournament winner Leander Paes has become the first male player from Asia to be nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame 2024 on 26 September 2023.
Fifty-year-old Leander Paes is among the six players who have been nominated for next year 2024.
A total of six tennis players were nominated:
- Apart from Leander Paes, there are 5 more players in the race for International Tennis Hall of Fame.
- These include former world number one Spanish tennis player Carlos Moya, Serbia's Ana Ivanovic, Italy's Flavia Pennetta, South Africa's Cara Black and Canada's Daniel Nestor.
Leander Paes will be the first male player from Asia to be inducted into the Hall of Fame:
- If Leander Paes is inducted into the Hall of Fame, he will be the first tennis player from India to receive this honour. Also, Leander Paes will be the first male player from Asia to be included in the Hall of Fame.
Vijay Amritraj was also nominated:
- Former Indian tennis player, commentator and tennis analyst Vijay Amritraj has also been nominated in the 'Contributor category'.
- Broadcasters, commentators and journalists are also included in this category.
- Apart from Amritraj, another nominee in this category is British journalist Richard Evans.
- In this category, people are recognized who have contributed to tennis all over the world.
How do players get into the Tennis Hall of Fame?
- Leander Paes has been nominated in the category of Most Honored Players. His name has been announced as a nominee along with 5 other players.
- After this, voting for the fans of these players will begin and tennis lovers around the world will vote for the player whom they want to see in the Tennis Hall of Fame.
- The results of these voting will be announced in January 2024 and the winners will be formally inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in July 2024.
Li Na is the first player from Asia to be included in the Hall of Fame:
- Chinese player Li Na became the first player from Asia to be nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2019 after winning the Australian Open and French Open titles in the women's category.
Brief biography of Leander Paes:
- Leander Paes was born on 17 June 1973 in Kolkata.
- Leander Paes' father Weiss Paes has a bronze medal in the 1972 Munich Olympics.
- Leander Paes' mother Jennifer Paes led the Asian basketball team in the 1980s.
- Leander Paes also won the 1990 Junior Wimbledon on the junior circuit under the tutelage of Dave O'Meara.
- In 1996, in Atlanta, Leander Paes won the bronze medal by defeating Brazil's Fernando Meligeni and became the first Indian tennis player after KD Jadhav to win an individual medal.
- Keeping his successes in mind, the government honored him with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
- After this, Paes along with Mahesh Bhupathi added many memorable moments in the history of Indian tennis.
- Leander Paes was actively associated with tennis for three decades from 1990 to 2020.
International Tennis Hall of Fame:
- Established: 1880
- Founder: James J. van Allen
- It is located at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, United States.
- It honors both players and other contributors to the game of tennis.