Olympic medallist Leander Paes and Vijay Amritraj, on Wednesday, became the first men from the Asian continent to be elected into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Both of them will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame along with British journalist and historian Richard Evans on July 20 next year at Newport, Rhode Island.

China’s Li Na, who has won two women’s singles Grand Slam title, became the first-ever Asian to be elected to the Hall of Fame in 2019.

While Paes has been elected in the Player Category, Amritraj – a renowned broadcaster, has been chosen in the Contributor Category. The duo will help India become the 28th country to be represented in the Hall of Fame.

Evans will also be inducted in the Contributor Category.

Paes, who is a former doubles world No 1 and has won 18 Grand Slam titles combined in men’s and mixed doubles, ends a two-year drought of no one being elected to the Hall of Fame in the Player Category.

“It has been my life’s honour to play for my country for over three decades in a sport that has given and taught me everything,” Paes was quoted as saying by PTI. “This acknowledgment is indeed the ultimate accolade for every tennis player. Induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame belongs not just to me, but to our billion-plus Indians.”

“Receiving this honour culminates a professional journey of a lifetime, standing on the shoulders of greats and sets the tone for other youngsters in Asia and around the world.”

Candidates are elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame on the basis of votes casted by fans, experts, media, historians, and existing Hall of Famers. Candidates need to be chosen on at least 75% of ballots to be inducted.