NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) The International Tennis Hall of Fame is adding a fan vote to its election process in 2019, and will make other changes to its induction policies, including allowing players who meet certain standards to automatically be on the ballot.
Hall CEO Todd Martin announced the changes Wednesday.
Instead of each player on the ballot requiring approval from a nominating committee, there will be automatic qualification for those who:
- won five major singles titles;
- won three major singles titles and spent at least 13 weeks ranked No. 1;
- won 15 major doubles titles;
- or won 12 major doubles titles and spent at least 52 weeks ranked No. 1.
Players are still eligible for induction starting five years after retirement.
The Recent Player and Master Player categories will be eliminated, replaced by just a Player category. After the Class of 2018, players retired more than 20 years will be ineligible for that category.
Players can remain on the ballot for three years. If not voted into the Hall, they would be removed for two years before being eligible to return.
The Wheelchair and Contributor categories will be open every four years, instead of annually.
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