Ivanisevic, Bruguera, Bjorkman Named To 2020 Hall Of Fame Ballot
Three former ATP Tour stars have been named as candidates on the ballot for the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020. Croatia’s Goran Ivanisevic, 2001 Wimbledon champion and former World No. 2; back-to-back Roland Garros champion Sergi Bruguera of Spain; and Swede Jonas Bjorkman, winner of nine major doubles titles and a former doubles World No. 1, have been named to the ballot.
Former WTA star and 1994 Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez of Spain has also been nominated. Induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame is the ultimate honour in tennis, representing the sum of an athlete’s achievements as being among the best of the best in the sport.
“Throughout their careers, Conchita Martínez, Sergi Bruguera, Jonas Bjorkman, and Goran Ivanisevic each consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellence. As a result, they achieved success at tennis’ highest levels as Grand Slam champions, top-ranked ATP and WTA competitors, Olympic medalists, and Davis and Fed Cup champions. They’ve represented their nations and the sport very well, and it is a pleasure to announce their nominations to receive tennis’ ultimate honour, induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame,” said Hall of Fame President Stan Smith.
Ivanisevic’s serve-and-volley style of play led him to great success on the grass courts of Wimbledon where he was a quarter-finalist once, semi-finalist twice, and finalist three times, before winning the title in 2001.
That year, ranked No. 125, the big-serving lefty was granted a wild card into the tournament. In a magical run to the trophy he knocked out three players who were former or future World No. 1s en route to a five-set battle with Patrick Rafter in the final. Ivanisevic is a two-time Olympic medalist, having won a singles bronze and doubles bronze, both in 1992.
Spanish clay-court great Bruguera accomplished a massive feat when he won back-to-back titles at Roland Garros in 1993 and 1994. His first title came against two-time defending champion Jim Courier, after Bruguera came back from being down 2-0 in the fifth set. Bruguera reached a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 3 and won 14 tour-level titles in all. He was a silver medalist at the 1996 Olympics.
Former World No. 1 doubles player Bjorkman won nine major titles and achieved the doubles career Grand Slam. He was twice a champion at the Nitto ATP Finals and captured 54 tour-level doubles titles in all.
In singles, Bjorkman reached a career-high of No. 4 and was a semi-finalist at both the US Open and Wimbledon. A dedicated team player, Bjorkman played a major role on three Swedish Davis Cup championship squads.
Now that the ballot has been set for the Class of 2020, it will go before the ITHF Player Voting Group, which is comprised of tennis media, historians, and Hall of Famers.
Additionally, tennis fans across the globe are encouraged to voice their opinions about who is deserving of Hall of Fame induction by taking part in the Fan Vote. Fan Voting will open on Monday, 26 August at vote.tennisfame.com, and run through 29 September.
The top three vote getters in the Fan Vote will earn bonus percentage points added to their result from the ITHF Player Voting Group. First place will receive three bonus percentage points, second place will receive two and third place will receive a bonus of one percentage point. To be elected into the Hall of Fame, a candidate must receive an affirmative vote of 75 per cent or more from the Player Voting Group result or a combined total of 75 per cent or more from the Player Voting Group result and any bonus percentage points they earn through the Fan Vote.
“Tennis fans around the globe responded to last year’s invitation to be part of the International Tennis Hall of Fame enshrinement process, with votes coming in from 148 nations,” said International Tennis Hall of Fame CEO Todd Martin.
“Our intent behind Fan Voting is to offer a unique way for tennis fans to engage with the sport’s history and its most inspiring players. We’re glad to make Fan Voting a regular part of the enshrinement process and encourage fans to make their voices and opinions heard by voting in the month ahead.”
The results of Fan Voting will be announced at the conclusion of the voting period in late September. The overall results and the complete Induction Class of 2020 will be announced in January. The 2020 Induction Ceremony will be hosted on 18 July 2020 in Newport.
The four candidates on the 2020 ballot are all nominated in the Player Category, and each is in the second year of a three-year possible candidacy. Once nominated, a player candidate remains on the ballot for up to three consecutive years, unless voted in, per the ITHF Enshrinement Policies and Procedures.