NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — Leander Paes, the owner of 18 Grand Slam titles in men’s doubles or mixed doubles, is the first Asian man to be nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame in the player category.
Paes, who is from India, was one of six player candidates announced Tuesday for the Class of 2024, along with returning nominees Cara Black, Ana Ivanovic, Carlos Moya, Daniel Nestor and Flavia Pennetta.
Li Na, a Chinese woman who won two Grand Slam singles titles, became the first Asian player in the shrine based in Newport, Rhode Island, when she was inducted in 2019.
“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,” Paes said.
The ballot for 2024 also includes two contributor category candidates: Vijay Amritraj and journalist Richard Evans.
Paes won career Grand Slams in both men’s doubles and mixed doubles and reached the No. 1 doubles ranking. His eight men’s doubles major championships—earned with four different partners—were spread out this way: three apiece at the French Open and U.S. Open, and one apiece at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
His mixed doubles Slam trophies came alongside various partners, including Martina Navratilova, Martina Hingis and Black.
Black, Ivanovic, Moya, Nestor and Pennetta all fell short of the required 75% of the vote in past balloting from the official voting group—which includes media, historians, Hall of Famers and industry experts—and bonus percentage points awarded based on a fan vote. Nominees can remain in contention for three years.
This year’s online fan voting for the player category runs from Wednesday to Oct. 9.
The Hall’s Class of 2023 members—wheelchair star Esther Vergeer and quad division pioneer Rick Draney—were enshrined in July.