Three former French Open winners, a US Open titlist and a pair of distinguished doubles champions feature on the 2022 International Tennis Hall of Fame (ITHOF) ballot, officials announced Thursday. All six of the nominees reached the top of their sport in either singles or doubles.
Four are newcomers for enshrinement, including Ana Ivanovic. The 33-year-old, who hoisted the 2008 Roland Garros trophy after two previous runner-up finishes in major finals, captured 15 titles throughout her career. Following her Paris breakthrough, Ivanovic spent 12 weeks as world No. 1 over two stints. If voted into the ITHOF, the Belgrade native would be the first player representing Serbia, having already become the first from her nation to receive a nomination.
“Many of the women who I looked up to as a young girl are Hall of Famers, and to be nominated to receive an honor that places my career alongside those who inspired me is just incredible,” Ivanovic said in a statement. “I’m humbled and grateful for this nomination and this acknowledgement of my career.”
Flavia Pennetta and Cara Black are also seeking to break ground in Newport, R.I. At 33, Pennetta emerged as the oldest first-time major women’s champion of the Open Era when she triumphed over childhood friend Roberta Vinci in a historic 2015 US Open final. The first Italian woman to be shortlisted, Pennetta teamed up with the likes of Vinci in guiding her country to four Billie Jean King Cup (formerly Fed Cup) titles, while also ascending to No. 1 in doubles.
“I loved competing and to have my tennis career recognized in this way among the sport’s all-time greats is such an incredible honor,” she said. “I’m humbled to be the first Italian woman to receive this nomination, and grateful for so much support from Italy during my career.”