Original 9, Hewitt, Raymond among nominees for tennis Hall

Billie Jean King and the other members of the Original 9 who laid the groundwork for the women’s professional tennis tour are the first group nominated together for the International Tennis Hall of Fame

They join Jonas Bjorkman, Sergi Brugera, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Lleyton Hewitt, Lisa Raymond and the late Dennis Van der Meer on the ballot announced Monday for the Hall’s Class of 2021.

That group and Van der Meer, who advocated for a universal teaching method in tennis, were nominated in the Contributor Category. Van der Meer died last year.

The nominees in the Player Category are Raymond, an American who won 11 Grand Slam titles in doubles or mixed doubles; Hewitt, an Australian who won the U.S. Open in 2001 and Wimbledon in 2002 and was ranked No. 1; Ferrero, a Spaniard who won the 2003 French Open and reached No. 1; Bruguera, a Spaniard who won the French Open in 1993 and 1994; and Bjorkman, a Swede who won nine Grand Slam doubles titles and was ranked No. 1 in doubles.

The full ballot now goes to the official voting group — which includes tennis journalists, historians and Hall of Fame members — and fans can vote online in the Player Category from Oct. 1-25.

Inductees will be announced early next year; the induction ceremony is scheduled for July 17.

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