Original 9, Hewitt in Tennis Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021
(AP Photo/Mic Smith, File)Billie Jean King and the other members of the Original 9 who laid the groundwork for the women’s professional tour are the first group elected together to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, joining Lleyton Hewitt and Dennis Van der Meer in the Class of 2021. In results announced Wednesday, Hewitt was the only one of five nominees in the Player Category who was voted in. “I guess you could say we were women’s tennis suffragettes, in a way," Pigeon said. On Sept. 23, 1970, they all signed $1 contracts with World Tennis Magazine publisher Gladys Heldman to participate in the first women-only tennis tournament. 3, that women would finally be able to make a living playing professional tennis.
Original 9, Hewitt, Raymond among nominees for tennis Hall
NEWPORT, R.I. – 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 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.