Li gets ten­nis Hall of Fame vote boost

Shanghai Daily - - SPORTS - (AFP)

CHINA’S Li Na, a two-time Grand Slam cham­pion and for­mer world No. 2, won a fan vote an­nounced on Tues­day, boost­ing her chances of join­ing the In­ter­na­tional Ten­nis Hall of Fame.

French two-time Grand Slam sin­gles win­ner Mary Pierce and for­mer Wim­ble­don cham­pion Go­ran Ivani­se­vic of Croa­tia also en­hanced their chances of be­ing in­ducted into the sport­ing honor roll next year.

The Hall of Fame’s first-ever fan vote, which drew bal­lots from 130 na­tions dur­ing a six-week sub­mis­sion pe­riod, will be con­sid­ered when de­cid­ing among eight nom­i­nees on the bal­lot for in­duc­tion into the 2019 class.

In­ductees will be an­nounced at the Aus­tralian Open on Jan­uary 22 with en­shrine­ment on July 20 at the ATP Hall of Fame tour­na­ment in New­port, Rhode Is­land.

Vote to­tals were not re­vealed but Li won the bal­lot­ing with Ivani­se­vic se­cond and Pierce third.

“It’s a great honor to be nom­i­nated for the In­ter­na­tional Ten­nis Hall of Fame and I’m so grate­ful for the fan sup­port in this process,” Li said in a state­ment from the Hall.

“My fans were such a huge part of what made my play­ing ca­reer spe­cial for me and it’s re­ally won­der­ful to have this op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue that re­la­tion­ship with them to­day.”

Can­di­dates must re­ceive 75 per­cent sup­port from the Hall vot­ing group of jour­nal­ists, his­to­ri­ans and Hall of Famers plus fan vote bonus points.

Li will see a three per­cent bonus to her vot­ing to­tal while Ivani­se­vic gets a two per­cent boost and Pierce a one per­cent bump to her sup­port.

“I’m hon­ored to be nom­i­nated for this great ac­co­lade,” said Li, who was born in Wuhan, Hubei Prov­ince.

“I look for­ward to hear­ing the Hall of Fame vot­ing re­sults in Jan­uary.”

The 36-year-old, who re­tired in 2014, won the 2011 French Open and 2014 Aus­tralian Open sin­gles ti­tles while Ivani­se­vic won his only Grand Slam ti­tle in 2001 at Wim­ble­don.

Pierce cap­tured the 1995 Aus­tralian Open and 2000 French Open crowns.

Oth­ers be­ing con­sid­ered for in­duc­tion next year in­clude for­mer world dou­bles num­ber one Jonas Bjork­man of Swe­den, two-time French Open cham­pion Sergi Bruguera of Spain, 1996 French Open and 1999 Aus­tralian Open win­ner Yevgeny Kafel­nikov of Rus­sia, 1994 Wim­ble­don win­ner Con­chita Martinez of Spain and 1995 French Open cham­pion Thomas Muster of Aus­tria.

Since the Hall opened in 1954, 254 peo­ple from 23 na­tions have been in­ducted.

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