International Tennis Hall Of Fame Nominated Leander Paes As First Asian Player

Leander Paes
Leander Paes

In the player category, Leander Paes became the first Asian man to be nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Leander Paes became the first Asian man to be nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame in the player category on Tuesday.

Paes, 50, was one of six nominees announced for the Class of 2024. In the Player Category, he will face Cara Black, Ana Ivanovic, Carlos Moya, Daniel Nestor, and Flavia Pennetta.

Leander Paes Nominated To ITHF

Li Na, the Chinese player who won the women’s singles title at both the Australian and French Opens, is the first Asian player to be nominated to the ITHF in 2019.

“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,” he added.

Former India player Vijay Amritraj was also nominated in the contribution category, in addition to Paes.

“The ballot will also include two nominees in the Contributor Category, Vijay Amritraj and renowned journalist Richard Evans,” ITHF said on its website.

Paes has 18 Grand Slam victories in doubles and mixed doubles and is a former world No. 1 in doubles. In a three-decade career, he won eight Grand Slams in doubles, ten in mixed doubles, and a career Slam in both.

“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,” Paes said.

Paes won 55 doubles titles on tour and spent 462 weeks in the ATP doubles top 10, including 37 weeks at No. 1.

Paes, India’s Davis Cup staple for 30 years, holds the competition record with 43 doubles tie victories. In 1996, he became India’s only Olympic tennis medalist, taking bronze in Atlanta.