Rick Draney, Lisa Raymond on 2023 ballot for International Tennis Hall of Fame
U.S. quad tennis legend Rick Draney and former doubles world No. 1 Lisa Raymond have been nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame ballot for 2023, putting the Americans within reach of the game's highest honor.
The pair are among nine nominees for next year's enshrinement, which was announced by the Hall of Fame last week; Draney is nominated for the first time in the wheelchair category alongside the legendary Esther Vergeer, while 11-time Grand Slam doubles champion and Olympic bronze medalist Raymond is on the ballot for the third year running.
Draney was instrumental in the development of wheelchair tennis’ quad division, both in the United States and internationally. Draney began his wheelchair tennis career in 1984, several years before the quad division was officially recognized alongside the men's and women's open divisions, and also helped create division's eventual computerized world rankings.
In his career, Draney won 12 singles titles and six doubles titles at Super Series level, which was the top tier of wheelchair competition prior to its inclusion at Grand Slams. Draney topped the world singles rankings in the quad division for more than 118 weeks between 1998 and February 2002, and ended three seasons as the world's No. 1 player. He was also world No. 1 in quad doubles for more than 100 weeks, and helped the U.S. win the 1998 and 2003 World Team Cups, the wheelchair counterpart to the Billie Jean King Cup and Davis Cup.
A winner of both the USTA's and ITF's Brad Parks Awards for extraordinary contributions to the sport of wheelchair tennis, Draney has instructed at wheelchair tennis camps and clinics around the world, and served as tournament committee chairperson of the US Open USTA Wheelchair Tennis Championships for nine years.
Pennsylvania native Raymond won a career Grand Slam in women's doubles, and won her 11 major titles—six in women's doubles and five in mixed—with six different partners. She shined at her home major in particular: She won three US Open women's doubles titles (2001, 2005 and 2011), and won the mixed doubles title in New York with both former USTA President and Chairman of the Board Patrick Galbraith (1996) and Mike Bryan (2002).
Raymond and Bryan also partnered to win the bronze medal in mixed doubles at the 2012 London Olympics, and her Team USA successes also included a Fed Cup (now Billie Jean King Cup) triumph as a player (2000) and a coach (2017). Before turning professional, she won the NCAA singles title twice and led the University of Florida to its first NCAA championship in 1992.
In a two-decade career that ended with her 2015 retirement, Raymond won 79 career WTA doubles titles, sixth-most in history, and racked up 137 weeks as world No. 1 in doubles, ranking her fourth all-time. She also won four career WTA singles titles.
“The nine nominees to the Class of 2023 ballot for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame represent tennis’ greatest achievements, across multiple disciplines of the sport,” Katrina Adams, chairperson of the ITHF’s Enshrinee Nominating Committee said.
“As a former player, I appreciate the hard work and professionalism each of these world-class athletes possess. Being recognized as candidates for tennis’ highest honor, induction into the Hall of Fame, is a momentous accolade.”
Raymond is joined by six other former ATP and WTA stars on the 2023 ballot: Cara Black, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Ana Ivanovic, Carlos Moya, Daniel Nestor and Flavia Pennetta.
With the ballot now set, the Hall of Fame's official voting group—comprised of tennis journalists, historians, and other Hall of Famers—will cast their ballots for the Class of 2023 in the coming months. But fans will again have their say, as the ITHF's annual fan vote will also play a role in selection for the Player Category, which includes Raymond. From Thursday, Oct. 20 through Sunday, Oct. 30, tennis fans can cast their ballots at vote.tennisfame.com. The top three candidates from the fan vote will receive added percentage points to their vote totals. The first-place winner will earn three percentage points, followed by two points and one point for the second- and third-place finisher, respectively.
To be elected to the Hall of Fame, candidates must receive an affirmative vote of at least 75% or higher from the combined total. The Class of 2023 inductees will be announced early next year, and will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 22, 2023 in Newport, R.I.
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