The International Tennis Hall of Fame has unveiled its nominees for the class of 2024. Located in Newport, Rhode Island, United States, the Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization aimed at promoting the sport. It takes its turn to honor both, players and contributors who have played a significant part in taking the sport to the masses.
The induction of the first members happened in 1955. But, it was recognized by the International Tennis Federation(ITF) only in 1986. As, of 2023, 262 players were inducted into the Hall of Fame. The members who were enshrined in 2023 were wheelchair star, Esther Vergeer and Rick Draney, a quad division pioneer. Former champions from both, ATP and WTA tours are eligible to get nominated.
The nominees for the 2024 Tennis Hall of Fame are Flavia Pennetta, Carlos Moya, Ana Ivanovic, Daniel Nestor, Cara Black, and Leander Paes. Barring Leander Paes, the other five players are returning nominees who have gone into the ballot before. In the contributor category, Vijay Amritraj, a former player and longtime broadcaster, and Richard Evans, a tennis journalist and a historian, have been nominated.
The process of getting inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame for the nominees
Getting enshrined is the ultimate honor and recognition for one’s contributions to transform the sport of Tennis. To do so, the nominee has to go through a seven-step process. The national enshrinement committee will review the eligibility of the nominees.
Once the committee confirms their eligibility, a review of the nominees takes place. Following this, a nominee must garner at least 75% of votes or more from the official voting group and bonus points earned by way of the fan votes, to get inducted.
Two of Indian Tennis’ renowned flag bearers, Leander Paes and Vijay Amritraj have been nominated for the class of 2024. Both of them have been wonderful ambassadors for the sport, on and off the court, and deserve the recognition.“It means the world to me…..” Paes beamed, on becoming the first Asian man to be nominated in the category.
He continued, “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…”. He was grateful for what Tennis had given him and hoped to inspire kids around the world, to become champions.
The recognition for Vijay Amritraj in the contributor category comes from the fact that he has been a “true pioneer” and has broken barriers for spreading the sport of Tennis. He is widely considered the voice of Indian Tennis, having served as a broadcaster for long.
The nominees have been announced. It is up to the voters to do their part in getting their favorites enshrined. The voting runs from September 27 to October 9. Hopefully, the right persons get inducted, taking the sport to places in the years to come.