Tennis fans can vote for three former Roland-Garros singles champions to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame next year as part of the ‘Class of 2022’.
Tennis Hall of Fame, Class of 2022: the ballot is set!
Fans can vote for the Class of 2022 inductees.
Ivanovic, Ferrero, Moya join the line-up
Their fellow nominees Lisa Raymond and Cara Black also have a strong connection with the Court Philippe-Chatrier; Raymond was a mixed and women’s doubles winner in Paris while Black won the Roland-Garros mixed title with her brother Wayne and was runner-up in women’s doubles.
2015 US Open champion Flavia Pennetta is the final nominee for the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022. Pennetta made the last 16 at Roland-Garros and was a quarter-finalist in doubles. She could make history as the first Italian woman to become a Hall of Famer.
Inductees to be revealed early in 2022
Fans can vote online for their favourites between 15th October and 31 October via vote.tennisfame.com.
Election into the Hall of Fame is determined by the combination of results from Fan Voting and the Official Voting Group, which is made up of tennis journalists, historians and existing Hall of Famers.
While the results of fan voting will be announced in the first week of November, the final verdict on who will join the likes of Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Pete Sampras and Rod Laver and officially recognised among the greats of the game will be revealed early in 2022.
“The six nominees named to the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s 2022 ballot have all achieved remarkable results on tennis’ biggest stages –Grand Slam titles, topping the world rankings, Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup victories.
Their successes are highlights of tennis history, and it’s a pleasure to recognize their accomplishments with the honor of International Tennis Hall of Fame nomination,” said ITHF President Stan Smith.
Some difficult choices
The relatively recent retirements of all the nominees and the fact that all have been ranked No.1 in either singles or doubles could present fans with some difficult choices this year.
Ivanovic, who was also a runner-up at Roland-Garros in 2007 and reached the 2008 Australian Open final, spent 12 weeks at No.1 in singles and 91 weeks in the Top 5 of the WTA rankings.
If inducted, she would be the first player under the Serbian flag in the Hall of Fame and almost certainly the first who had to learn to play in an abandoned swimming pool due to the lack of courts in her then war-torn home country.
Moya and Ferrero were two standouts in a golden generation of Spanish players, many of whom played their best tennis with Parisian clay beneath their feet. As well as his success at Roland-Garros, Moya became the first Spanish man to be ranked No.1 in 1999, was a runner-up at the Australian Open and also spent 200 weeks inside the ATP’s Top 10.
Alongside Ferrero he was also a mainstay of the victorious 2004 Spanish Davis Cup team. The performances of both players served as inspiration for a young Rafael Nadal, whom Moya has since coached to great acclaim.
Both singles and doubles
The importance of doubles is also reflected in the nominees, with specialists Raymond and Black both represented along with Pennetta, who excelled in both singles and doubles.
Each carved out a place history in her own way. Raymond’s 11 major titles (including the women’s doubles trophy at Roland-Garros in 2006 partnered by Samantha Stosur) and 137 weeks at No.1 followed an astonishingly successful US college tennis career.
Black spent an incredible 569 weeks inside the world top-10, including a 163 as World No.1. She won 60 career doubles titles, including three titles at Wimbledon, as well as trophies at the Australian Open and the US Open. Black, a pioneer for Zimbabwean tennis, also won five mixed doubles major titles (including Roland-Garros 2002) and is one of only three women in the Open Era to have achieved a career Grand Slam in Mixed Doubles.
Pennetta’s Roland-Garros career included runs to the last 16 in singles and the quarter-finals in doubles, she partnered Gisela Dulko to win the 2011 Australian Open and 2012 WTA Tour Finals titles and she was ranked No.1 in doubles for 18 weeks as part a glitteringly consistent doubles career.
Yet it was in singles where she found a knack for capturing hearts, history and headlines. In 2009 Pennetta became the first Italian woman to break into the WTA Top 10 while her shock 2015 US Open victory, beating compatriot and friend Roberta Vinci in the final, remains one of the most surprising and emotionally-compelling Grand Slam storylines tennis has ever seen.