Leander Paes is one of the greatest players in the history of mixed and doubles tennis. He just has taken another record under his name as he became the first-ever Asian male tennis player to get nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame in the player category.
By getting nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame, he became the first Asian male tennis player to be a nominee and the second Asian tennis player to get nominated for this prestigious honor. Li Na, the Chinese sensation who won the women’s singles Australian and French Open became the first Asian to be nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Paes will be competing with six other nominees for this prestigious honor in the class of 2024. Other nominees who will compete against Paes for the honor are Cara Black, Ana Ivanovic, Carlos Moya, Daniel Nestor, and Flavia Pennetta.
When asked about what he feels about being the first man to be nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame in the Player Category, Paes said,
“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,”
“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,”
Alongside Paes, Another Indian player has also been nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Vijay Amritraj is a former tennis player from India who has also been nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame but in the contributor category. On the official website of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, officials have said that Amritraj will be competing against renowned journalist Richard Evans for the prestigious honor in the contributor category.
Paes is a winner of 18 mixed and doubles grand slams and he is also a former ATP’s doubles world number one rank holder. He has won 8 doubles Grand slams and 10 mixed doubles grand slams in his career span of three decades as a doubles and mixed doubles tennis player which makes him one of the best doubles and mixed doubles players of his era.
Paes also stated,
“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 was in the ATP doubles rankings top ten for 462 weeks and was the number one for 37 weeks and on tours, he had won 55 doubles titles. In the Davis Cup that is organized in his home country of India, he holds the record for the most doubles ties victories with a competition record of 43 doubles ties victories. He is also the country’s only Olympics medalist in the sport of tennis with a bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Summer Games.