Based on their superior performances in the Grand Slam tournaments, ATP/WTA World Tour Finals and the Davis/ Fed Cup, the International Tennis Federation announced the 2010 World Champions, which will be distributed at the French Open on May 31, 2011.
In a press release, ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said:
“This has been another memorable year for tennis, culminating in Serbia’s triumph in the Davis Cup Final. Rafael Nadal has proved himself to be one of the greatest competitors in the sport’s history, while Caroline Wozniacki has shown a strong determination and continuous commitment to the game to earn the women’s No. 1 ranking at such a young age.”
The selection process to receive this honor is based on the system that considers performances in the Grand Slam tournaments and equal tours but performances in the two ITF international team competitions as well.
The World Champions have been awarded since 1978 for singles and 1996 for doubles.
Rafael Nadal was honored for the second time as the 2010 ITF World Champion since he got the title in 2008.
He completed a career Grand Slam this year after winning the US Open crown for the first time along with taking two other major titles. He has won every major, two Davis Cup titles for Spain, and has an Olympic gold medal.
He is behind Pete Sampras being named the ITF World Champion six times, Roger Federer's five times and the legends with three or more. The 24-year-old currently holds the year-end No.1 ranking.
In the same release, Nadal said:
"It is an honor to be named ITF World Champion for the second time. After a difficult year in 2009, it was an amazing feeling to regain the No. 1 ranking and finally win the US Open. My goal all the time is to keep improving and be a better player each year than I was the previous year."
Caroline Wozniacki was recognized for her success in singles at the 2010 ITF World Champion.
In the last year, the 20-year-old has become the fourth-youngest woman after Martina Hingis, Monica Seles and Steffi Graf to earn the year-end No. 1 ranking; this all comes despite not holding a major title; she is the first female World Champion from Denmark.
Wozniacki shared her high esteem for the tribute:
“What an honor it is to be named ITF World Champion. To be listed with all the former ITF World Champions is something I am really proud of. I had a great year in 2010 and I’m training hard to have an even better year in 2011. I’m already looking forward to the ceremony in Paris.”
Also honored, for the seventh time over the last eight years, are Bob and Mike Bryan.
The have won the most ITF World Champion awards for doubles with the Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde coming behind. Taking home the award as Men’s Doubles World Champions, the brothers have won 11 titles without a finals loss, including two Grand Slam victories.
“It is a great honor to receive another World Champions award from the ITF,” said Bob Bryan on receiving the adulation. “Our goal is to perform our best at the most important tournaments and to be given this award for 2010 means we accomplished this goal. We want to thank everyone at the ITF who work hard to improve our sport and look forward to another awards banquet.”
Unbeaten since January 2003, Ester Vergeer rounds out the pack with a record setting 400 consecutive singles matches en route to the year-end No. 1 wheelchair tennis ranking for the 11th consecutive year.
Winning all five singles tournaments contested, including Roland Garros, US Open and NEC Masters, the 29-year-old spoke after being honored in the opening night ceremony at the US Open:
“I did not expect to become the No. 1 again, especially because this was a year where I did not play a lot of tournaments. But the results I had this year were very good again. Working with Sven Groeneveld is putting new motivation and a new level of tennis in me.”
Others honored were doubles team Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta, Juan Sebastian Gomez, Daria Gavrilova and Shingo Kunieda.
In closing, Ricci Bitti said:
“I would like to pay tribute to all the ITF World Champions for 2010, who have contributed to another successful year for the sport."
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