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By Richard Pagliaro | Wednesday, December 13, 2023


Richard Evans (left) with Billie Jean King has covered tennis for more than six decades.

Photo credit: International Tennis Hall of Fame

Indian stars who made history—and an esteemed British journalist who recorded history—headline the International Tennis Hall of Fame's Class of 2024.

Renowned writer Richard Evans, who launched his career in London covering Hall of Famer Althea Gibson, covered the greatest champions of the Open Era and wrote a definitive book on John McEnroe, joins former doubles world No. 1 Leander Paes and their good friend, Vijay Amritraj as the three inductees for the International Tennis Hall of Fame's Class of 2024.

“Being recognized as having done something useful by one's peers is always a great honor," Evans said. "It has also been such a pleasure to have spent a large part of my career writing about such a fabulous sport alongside players and fellow journalists whose talent I have admired.”

Paes and Amritraj become the first Indians elected to the Hall of Fame. Paes will be inducted in the Player Category, with Amritraj and Evans selected in the Contributor Category.

Amritraj and Evans are long-time friends and collaborated on Vijay Amritraj's autobiography.

The Class of 2024 Induction Ceremony will be held in Newport, R.I. on July 20th, 2024. Packages and tickets will go on sale in the spring.

The Contributor Category is considered every two years, and it recognizes true pioneers, visionary leaders, or individuals/groups who have made a transcendent impact on the sport.

Vijay Amritraj has broken barriers and worked to spread the sport of tennis on and off the court. As a player in the 1970s and 1980s, his success on court helped to popularize tennis in India and on the Asian continent. Amritraj is a respected global ambassador for the sport.

Richard Evans is a renowned tennis journalist and historian. He has spent a lifetime contributing to the sport’s growth and global reach.

During Evans' storied career, he has reported on over 200 Grand Slams and authored 23 books. Richard Evans served as lead writer for two of the most respected American publications, World Tennis and Tennis Week.

Evans' Roving Eye column for Tennis Week Magazine was one of the most widely-read columns in the sport. Evans later served as editor-at-large for Tennis Week Magazine.

Evans joins Tennis Week founder Gene Scott, Bud Collins, Steve Flink, Vic Braden and photographer Russ Adams as the sixth former Tennis Week staffer to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, most of any tennis publication in the world.

International Tennis Hall of Fame Official Bios for Class of 2024 

Leander Paes

During his three-decade career, Leander Paes topped the world rankings in doubles and won 18 Grand Slam titles. With eight doubles Grand Slam titles and 10 in mixed doubles, he is one of only three men in tennis history to capture a career Grand Slam in both disciplines. Paes is tied with his former partner, Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova, for the most mixed doubles major titles in history. Additionally, he and Hall of Famer Martina Hingis are one of only two mixed doubles teams in the Open Era to complete a career Grand Slam together. In a testament to his longevity at the sport’s height, Paes spent a total of 462 weeks inside the ATP doubles top 10, including 37 weeks at No. 1, and won 55 doubles titles on tour.

Paes proudly represented India in international competition for 30 years, winning a Davis Cup record 45 doubles rubbers during his career. He competed in a record seven consecutive Olympic Games, the most in tennis history, and is India’s only Olympic medalist in tennis, capturing bronze in singles at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Earlier this year, fans around the globe cast their ballots and elected Paes as the winner of the Hall of Fame’s annual Fan Vote for induction.

“It has been my life’s honor to play for my country for over three decades in a sport that has given and taught me everything," Paes said. "This acknowledgment is indeed the ultimate accolade for every tennis player. Induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame belongs not just to me, but to our billion-plus Indians.

"Receiving this honor culminates a professional journey of a lifetime, standing on the shoulders of greats and sets the tone for other youngsters in Asia and around the world.”

Vijay Amritraj

Since becoming a globally recognized name as an athlete in the 1970s and 1980s, Amritraj has used his profile to spread the sport of tennis throughout India and the Asian continent. Amritraj’s trailblazing success on the ATP Tour popularized the sport and inspired a generation of new players. Amritraj was one of India’s greatest players in the Open Era, anchoring India’s Davis Cup squad to its only two Finals appearances in 1974 and 1987; in 1974, he played a key role in India’s boycott of the Final against South Africa to demonstrate against Apartheid.

Post-retirement, Amritraj has become the face of tennis broadcasting in Asia and the Middle East, sharing the sport with millions during the Grand Slams. As an administrator, he has helped to expand professional tennis’ presence in India, including the ATP Chennai Open, WTA’s Chennai Open and two ATP Challenger events. Amitraj has been a popular pop-culture presence as well, including his role in the James Bond franchise.

Amritraj has consistently worked to advance humanitarian causes and the greater good. In 2001, he became the first Indian to serve as United Nations Messenger of Peace. Since 2006, the Vijay Amritraj Foundation has provided education, and basic needs for women and children in India’s neediest communities.

"This is truly a blessing, and an honor to be included in the history of tennis, among the greats who have played and served the sport," Amritraj said. "Acknowledging the culmination of a career that started with illness and now to be inducted in the International Tennis Hall of Fame, is making impossible dreams come true. It is a gift from above for me and my family and an honor for India.”

Richard Evans

For over six decades, Evans has been a preeminent voice on tennis as a journalist and historian. Since Wimbledon in 1960, he has reported on over 200 Grand Slams and numerous other tournaments. His observations on the sport and its players during watershed growth have resulted in 23 books authored over the course of his career. Including anthologies on Open tennis, the Davis Cup, biographies on some of tennis’ most legendary names, and more, Evans’ books stand the test of time as invaluable, insightful, and comprehensive resources. Evans is one of the founding members of the International Tennis Writers’ Association and served as its president from 2001-04.

Evans was a key player in the ATP Tour’s growth in the early Open Era. In 1973, following the Wimbledon boycott, he became the organization’s first press officer. From 1974-77, Evans served as ATP European Director in Paris, tasked with the job of persuading traditional amateur Tournament Directors throughout Europe to professionalize their events and treat players as professionals. In 1977, he was voted onto the ATP Board of Directors for two years. During this time, Evans was instrumental in conceptualizing and proposing the creation of ATP University for players embarking on professional careers and helped implement the program in 1980.


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