Rafa Nadal named 2010 ITF World Champion
12 14 2010, Spain
Press Release by the ITF - The ITF announced today that Rafael Nadal (ESP) and Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) are the 2010 ITF World Champions. This is the second time Nadal has been honoured, while Wozniacki becomes the first Danish player to receive a senior ITF award.
Bob and Mike Bryan (USA) are named Men’s Doubles World Champions for a record seventh occasion, while Gisela Dulko (ARG) and Flavia Pennetta (ITA) become Women’s Doubles World Champions for the first time.
Youth Olympic champions Juan Sebastian Gomez (COL) and Daria Gavrilova (RUS) are the 2010 ITF Junior World Champions, while the ITF Wheelchair World Champions are Esther Vergeer (NED) and Shingo Kunieda (JPN). Vergeer becomes world champion for a remarkable 11th successive year, while Kunieda wins the award for the fourth year running.
The ITF World Champions will receive their awards at the annual ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday 31 May, in Paris, during Roland Garros.
Rafael Nadal became only the seventh man in history to win a career Grand Slam when he won the US Open trophy in September. The 24-year-old also captured his fifth Roland Garros title and second Wimbledon crown to regain the year-end No. 1 ranking from Roger Federer. With an Olympic gold medal and two Davis Cup titles to his name, the Spaniard has now won all of tennis’s major prizes.
Nadal said: "It is an honour 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 became the fourth-youngest woman after Martina Hingis, Monica Seles and Steffi Graf to earn the year-end No. 1 ranking. The 20-year-old was the most consistent player on the circuit, earning a tour-high six titles, in Ponte Vedra, Copenhagen, Montreal, New Haven, Tokyo and Beijing. She is the first World Champion from Denmark since Kristian Pless was named Boys World Champion in 1999.
Wozniacki said: “What an honour 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.”
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.”
Bob and Mike Bryan are Men’s Doubles World Champions for the seventh time in eight years. The brothers won 11 titles without losing in a final, including two Grand Slam successes at the Australian Open and US Open. By winning their 62nd title in Los Angeles in August, they set a new record for career doubles titles won by a team, and went on to improve this figure to 67 by the end of 2010.
Bob Bryan said: “It is a great honour to receive another World Champions award from the ITF. 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.”
Gisela Dulko (ARG) and Flavia Pennetta (ITA) enjoyed an outstanding year in their first full season together, winning seven titles including the WTA Championships. In the process they established a winning streak of 17 matches, the longest on the tour for three years. Dulko follows compatriot Paola Suarez, who was Doubles World Champion between 2002-04, while Pennetta also helped Italy win its second successive Fed Cup title.
Dulko said: "I don't have words to express my joy. I still can't believe it. I think I'll realise what we achieved in the future. This year we didn't expect to end the year being No. 1, but I am sure that we earned it. We were consistent in many tournaments."
Pennetta added: “To be named Women's Doubles World Champions by the ITF is a great honour for me and Gisela. This prestigious award is the crowning achievement of a fantastic year lived with a great friend.”
The ITF’s selection of its senior World Champions is based on an objective system that considers not only performances in the Grand Slam tournaments and respective tours, but also gives weight to performances in the two ITF international team competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.
Juan Sebastian Gomez is the first ITF World Champion from Colombia after enjoying a breakthrough at the inaugural Youth Olympic Tennis Event in Singapore, where he won the singles gold medal. In a year when the four majors were won by different boys, the 18-year-old from Bogota edged them all out for the year-end No. 1 ranking. Gomez also won the Grade 1 Banana Bowl in Brazil and three doubles titles.
Gomez said: “Winning the Olympic gold medal and hearing the Colombian national anthem on the podium is something that I will always remember but cannot describe with words. As world champion, I have the confidence to keep working hard to achieve my ultimate goal of being the number one player on the tour.”
Daria Gavrilova is Russia’s first world champion since 2006 after saving her best performances for the biggest events to secure the year-end No. 1 ranking. The 16-year-old won the Youth Olympic Tennis Event unseeded and went on to capture her first Grand Slam title at the US Open. Gavrilova also led Russia to a successful title defence at the Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Finals.
Gavrilova said: “I'm really proud to be the 2010 Junior World Champion after the most successful year in my career. When I claimed the junior No. 1 spot after winning the Youth Olympic Games, my only goal was to keep this position and win a Grand Slam title. I'm really happy I reached all my goals after working really hard.”
Esther Vergeer won a remarkable 400th successive singles match en route to the year-end No. 1 wheelchair tennis ranking for the 11th consecutive year. Despite playing a reduced schedule, she won all five singles tournaments contested, including Roland Garros, US Open and NEC Masters. Unbeaten since January 2003, the 29-year-old was honoured in the opening night ceremony at the US Open.
Vergeer said: “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.”
Shingo Kunieda secured the year-end No. 1 wheelchair tennis ranking for the fourth year running. The 26-year-old has captured six singles titles in 2010, including all three Grand Slam singles events. His three-year unbeaten streak of 106 matches was ended in the semifinals of the NEC Masters, but he remains the dominant figure in the men’s game.
Kunieda said: “I am very honoured to be world champion four years in a row. I could only achieve it because of my all supporters. I would like to keep working hard and continue to improve my tennis.”
ITF President Francesco 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.
Courtesy of the ITFhttp://www.rafaelnadal.com/content/rafa-nadal-named-2010-itf-world-champion