Former doubles world No. 1 Leander Paes will become the first Indian player to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
The eight-time Grand Slam doubles champion, who reached the top of the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Rankings for the first time in 1999, will have the honor of being part of this select group at a ceremony to be held on July 20, 2024. Commentator and promoter Vijay Amritraj and renowned journalist Richard Evans will also do so, both in the Contributors category.
Paes and Amritraj will become the first two Indians to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and the first Asian man to be elected in their respective categories.
“It has been an honor to play for my country for more than three decades in a sport that gave and taught me everything,” said Paes, who holds the record of having won 45 Davis Cup doubles ties, in addition to the bronze medal. Olympic at the 1996 Games. “This recognition is the highest award for every tennis player. Getting into the International Tennis Hall of Fame belongs not only to me, but to more than a billion Indians. Receiving this honor caps a lifelong professional journey, on the shoulders of the greatest and marks the path for the youngest in Asia and the rest of the world.”
Paes spent a total of 462 weeks in the Top 10 of the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Rankings, including 37 weeks at No. 1. He captured 10 Grand Slam titles in mixed doubles, in addition to 8 men’s doubles. And he is one of three men in history who have completed the Grand Slam throughout their careers in both disciplines. His ten mixed crowns equal his partner Martina Navratilova in the all-time record.
Former Top 20 player Amritraj became the face of tennis on broadcasts in Asia and the Middle East. He also helped expand professional tennis in India, following a playing career that helped popularize the sport and inspire new generations of players in his country.
Evans has been a leading voice in tennis for more than six decades. A historian of this sport, he has broadcast more than 200 Grand Slams and written 23 books in his career. Evans was a key player in the growth of the ATP Tour in the early stages of the Open Era, becoming Wimbledon’s first press officer in 1973, serving as ATP European Director between 1974 and 1977 and being chosen as part of the ATP Board of Directors for two years in 1977.
“I am delighted to congratulate Leander Paes, Vijay Amritraj and Richard Evans on their election to the International Tennis Hall of Fame,” said Hall of Fame President and member of this group since 2017, Kim Clijsters. “These three legends have been pioneers in their impact on tennis and in the spread of the sport around the world. “We are excited to celebrate the Class of 2024 next year.”