Paes Amritraj Become First Asian Men into International Tennis

New Delhi, Dec 13 (PTI) Former world doubles champion Leander Paes and Indian broadcaster and promoter Vijay Amritraj are the first Asian men to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Paes, an 18-time Grand Slam champion in doubles and mixed doubles, was selected in the player category, while Amritraj and Evans of Great Britain were included in the contributor category, which is chosen every two years.

The Collaborators category recognizes true pioneers, visionary leaders or individuals/groups that have had a transcendent impact on sport.

The class of 2024 will be officially inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday in Newport, Rhode Island.

Paes, Amritraj and Evans will join an elite group of 264 candidates from 27 nations – India will be the 28th nation to be represented in the Hall of Fame.

“It has been the honor of my life to play for my country for more than three decades in a sport that has given and taught me everything. This recognition is, in fact, the definitive award for all tennis players. To be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame is not only mine, but of our more than one billion Indians,” Paes said.

“Receiving this award culminates in the professional journey of a lifetime, standing on the shoulders of the greats and setting the tone for other young people in Asia and around the world.”

During his three-decade career, Paes led the world ranking in doubles, winning 18 Grand Slam titles. With eight Grand Slam titles in doubles and 10 in mixed doubles, he is one of only three men in tennis history to have won a career Grand Slam in both disciplines.

Paes is tied with his former partner, Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova, for the most mixed doubles titles in history. In addition, he and Hall of Famer Martina Hingis are one of only two mixed doubles teams in the Open Era to have completed a career Grand Slam together.

As a testament to his longevity at the height of the sport, Paes spent a total of 462 weeks in the top 10 ATP doubles, including 37 weeks in 1st place, and won 55 doubles titles on the tour.

Paes proudly represented India in international competitions for 30 years and won a Davis Cup record 45 doubles titles during his career. He has participated in seven consecutive Olympic Games, the most in tennis history, and is India’s only Olympic tennis medalist, having won individual bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

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