ITF World Champions
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ITF World Champions

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) designates a World Champion each year based on performances throughout the year, emphasising the Grand Slam tournaments,[1] and also considering team events such as the Davis Cup and Fed Cup.[2] Men's and women's singles champions were first named in 1978; the title is now also awarded for doubles, wheelchair, and junior players.[3] It is sometimes named the "ITF Player of the Year" award, alluding to similar other year-end awards in tennis.[4]

Rules and procedures

The ITF's constitution states that no tennis tournament can be designated the "World Championships" without unanimous consent of the ITF Council.[5] There is currently no such tournament. The constitution also states:[6]

The ITF may award the title of World Champion to players who, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, are the most outstanding players in any one-year. The names of players who have been awarded this title shall be listed in the Roll of Honour.

It also states:[1]

Official Tennis Championships [i.e. the Grand Slam events] shall be the decisive factor in the determination of the ITF World Champions for each year.

For singles, ITF appoints a panel of former top players at the start of the season, which votes on the champion at the end of the season.

The boys' and girls' singles and doubles titles prior to 2003 were awarded based on world ranking. Since then singles and doubles rankings have been combined in a single award each for boys and for girls.[7]

The world champion accolade has been extended by the ITF to wheelchair tennis players of the Men's and Women's division since 1991. In November 2017, the ITF announced that the quad wheelchair tennis division is to be recognised in its annual list of ITF World Champions.[8]

In 1996, the Philippe Chatrier Award was introduced, honouring individuals or organisations who have made outstanding contributions to tennis globally, both on and off the court. The award is considered to be the ITF's highest accolade and is named after the former French tennis player Philippe Chatrier, who was President of the governing body between 1977 and 1991.[9]

The ITF World Champions' Dinner takes place in Paris during the French Open, to honour the previous year's champions,[10] who are presented with a trophy, but not any monetary prize.[11]

For 2020 there were no ITF World Champion awards given due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tennis season was suspended for about 5 months for both the female and the male tennis players.[12]

Men's singles

The first men's panel in 1978 had three members, Don Budge, Fred Perry, and Lew Hoad,[11][13] who attended the season's Grand Slam events at ITF expense to inform their choice.[14] The 1983 panel split two to one between John McEnroe (votes of Budge and Perry) and Mats Wilander (vote of Hoad).[15] The 1984 panel had five members,[16] while the 1985 panel had four: Budge, Perry, Hoad, and Tony Trabert.[17] When Ivan Lendl was chosen as champion for 1985, the panel's announcement was accompanied with a rebuke for Lendl's criticism of some tournaments and his refusal to play in the Davis Cup.[17] Perry and Trabert were on the 1986 panel, with performances outside the Grand Slams taken into consideration.[18]

The 1990 designation of Lendl as champion was a surprise.[19] That year, the Association of Tennis Professionals named Stefan Edberg its "Player of The Year", in accordance with the ATP rankings, while Tennis Magazine (France) ranked Edberg first, Andre Agassi second, and Lendl third.[20] Tennis also suggested the ITF was punishing Edberg for denigrating the Grand Slam Cup tournament it had introduced.[20] The ITF panel, of Perry, Trabert, and Frank Sedgman, called it "the toughest decision any of us can remember having to make", and stated it was Lendl's better average performance in the Grand Slams that made the difference.[19]

The choice to award Djokovic the ITF World Champion of 2013 over Nadal was unexpected. Nadal finished the year ranked #1 and with more Grand Slams (2 to 1), more Masters titles (5 to 3), and more tournament titles (10 to 7). Similar to the situation with Edberg in 1990, the ITF cited Nadal's failure to win a match at 2 of the 4 Grand Slams (DNP the Australian Open, 1st round loss at Wimbledon) to justify their decision and Djokovic's consistent results across all four Grand Slams (1 title, 2 runner-ups, 1 SF), Davis Cup (led Serbia to final, won 7/7 singles rubbers) and the ATP World Tour Finals (won title).[21]

Other instances when the ITF choices differed from the ATP rankings are 1978 (Jimmy Connors), 1982 (McEnroe), 1989 (Lendl), and 2022 (Carlos Alcaraz). None of these, however, were controversial and were generally agreed upon, with the 1978 and 1982 choices being particularly clear cut in favor of Borg (1978) and Connors (1982). Nadal was the ITF World Champion in 2022 even though Carlos Alcaraz was the year-end number 1 due to Nadal, who was the year-end number 2, winning two Grand Slam titles and Alcaraz not reaching a semifinal or final in three out of the four Grand Slams.

Year Player
1978 Sweden Björn Borg
1979 Sweden Björn Borg (2)
1980 Sweden Björn Borg (3)
1981 United States John McEnroe
1982 United States Jimmy Connors
1983 United States John McEnroe (2)
1984 United States John McEnroe (3)
1985 Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl
1986 Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl (2)
1987 Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl (3)
1988 Sweden Mats Wilander
1989 West Germany Boris Becker
1990 Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl (4)
1991 Sweden Stefan Edberg
1992 United States Jim Courier
1993 United States Pete Sampras
1994 United States Pete Sampras (2)
1995 United States Pete Sampras (3)
1996 United States Pete Sampras (4)
1997 United States Pete Sampras (5)
1998 United States Pete Sampras (6)
1999 United States Andre Agassi
2000 Brazil Gustavo Kuerten
2001 Australia Lleyton Hewitt
2002 Australia Lleyton Hewitt (2)
2003 United States Andy Roddick
2004 Switzerland Roger Federer
2005 Switzerland Roger Federer (2)
2006 Switzerland Roger Federer (3)
2007 Switzerland Roger Federer (4)
2008 Spain Rafael Nadal
2009 Switzerland Roger Federer (5)
2010 Spain Rafael Nadal (2)
2011 Serbia Novak Djokovic
2012 Serbia Novak Djokovic (2)
2013 Serbia Novak Djokovic (3)
2014 Serbia Novak Djokovic (4)
2015 Serbia Novak Djokovic (5)
2016 United Kingdom Andy Murray
2017 Spain Rafael Nadal (3)
2018 Serbia Novak Djokovic (6)
2019 Spain Rafael Nadal (4)
2020 No award due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021 Serbia Novak Djokovic (7)
2022 Spain Rafael Nadal (5)
Total Player
7  Novak Djokovic (SRB)
6  Pete Sampras (USA)
5  Roger Federer (SUI)
 Rafael Nadal (ESP)
4  Ivan Lendl (TCH)
3  Björn Borg (SWE)
 John McEnroe (USA)
2  Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)
1  Jimmy Connors (USA)
 Mats Wilander (SWE)
 Boris Becker (GER)
 Stefan Edberg (SWE)
 Jim Courier (USA)
 Andre Agassi (USA)
 Gustavo Kuerten (BRA)
 Andy Roddick (USA)
 Andy Murray (GBR)

Women's singles

The women's panel initially featured three former women's champions, Margaret Court, Margaret duPont and Ann Jones.[22][11][13] Althea Gibson was a member through the early 1980s.[23]

ITF world champions for women differed from the WTA year-end rankings the following years: 1978 (Martina Navratilova), 1994 (Steffi Graf), 2001 (Lindsay Davenport), 2004 (Lindsay Davenport), 2005 (Lindsay Davenport), 2011 (Caroline Wozniacki), 2012 (Victoria Azarenka), 2017 (Simona Halep).

Year Player
1978 United States Chris Evert
1979 United States Martina Navratilova
1980 United States Chris Evert (2)
1981 United States Chris Evert (3)
1982 United States Martina Navratilova (2)
1983 United States Martina Navratilova (3)
1984 United States Martina Navratilova (4)
1985 United States Martina Navratilova (5)
1986 United States Martina Navratilova (6)
1987 Germany Steffi Graf
1988 Germany Steffi Graf (2)
1989 Germany Steffi Graf (3)
1990 Germany Steffi Graf (4)
1991 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Monica Seles
1992 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Monica Seles (2)
1993 Germany Steffi Graf (5)
1994 Spain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
1995 Germany Steffi Graf (6)
1996 Germany Steffi Graf (7)
1997 Switzerland Martina Hingis
1998 United States Lindsay Davenport
1999 Switzerland Martina Hingis (2)
2000 Switzerland Martina Hingis (3)
2001 United States Jennifer Capriati
2002 United States Serena Williams
2003 Belgium Justine Henin
2004 Russia Anastasia Myskina
2005 Belgium Kim Clijsters
2006 Belgium Justine Henin (2)
2007 Belgium Justine Henin (3)
2008 Serbia Jelena Jankovi?
2009 United States Serena Williams (2)
2010 Denmark Caroline Wozniacki
2011 Czech Republic Petra Kvitová
2012 United States Serena Williams (3)
2013 United States Serena Williams (4)
2014 United States Serena Williams (5)
2015 United States Serena Williams (6)
2016 Germany Angelique Kerber
2017 Spain Garbiñe Muguruza
2018 Romania Simona Halep
2019 Australia Ashleigh Barty
2020 No award due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021 Australia Ashleigh Barty (2)
2022 Poland Iga ?wi?tek

Doubles

Men's doubles

Year Player
1996 Australia Todd Woodbridge & Mark Woodforde
1997 Australia Todd Woodbridge (2) & Mark Woodforde (2)
1998 Netherlands Jacco Eltingh & Netherlands Paul Haarhuis
1999 India Mahesh Bhupathi & India Leander Paes
2000 Australia Todd Woodbridge (3) & Mark Woodforde (3)
2001 Sweden Jonas Björkman & Australia Todd Woodbridge (4)
2002 The Bahamas Mark Knowles & Canada Daniel Nestor
2003 United States Bob Bryan & Mike Bryan
2004 United States Bob Bryan (2) & Mike Bryan (2)
2005 United States Bob Bryan (3) & Mike Bryan (3)
2006 United States Bob Bryan (4) & Mike Bryan (4)
2007 United States Bob Bryan (5) & Mike Bryan (5)
2008 Canada Daniel Nestor (2) & Serbia Nenad Zimonji?
2009 United States Bob Bryan (6) & Mike Bryan (6)
2010 United States Bob Bryan (7) & Mike Bryan (7)
2011 United States Bob Bryan (8) & Mike Bryan (8)
2012 United States Bob Bryan (9) & Mike Bryan (9)
2013 United States Bob Bryan (10) & Mike Bryan (10)
2014 United States Bob Bryan (11) & Mike Bryan (11)
2015 Netherlands Jean-Julien Rojer & Romania Horia Tec?u
2016 United Kingdom Jamie Murray & Brazil Bruno Soares
2017 Poland ?ukasz Kubot & Brazil Marcelo Melo
2018 United States Mike Bryan (12) & United States Jack Sock
2019 Colombia Juan Sebastián Cabal & Colombia Robert Farah
2020 No award due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021 Croatia Nikola Mekti? & Croatia Mate Pavi?
2022 United Kingdom Joe Salisbury & United States Rajeev Ram

Women's doubles

Year Player
1996 United States Lindsay Davenport & United States Mary Joe Fernández
1997 United States Lindsay Davenport (2) & Czech Republic Jana Novotná
1998 United States Lindsay Davenport (3) & Belarus Natasha Zvereva
1999 Switzerland Martina Hingis & Russia Anna Kournikova
2000 France Julie Halard-Decugis & Japan Ai Sugiyama
2001 United States Lisa Raymond & Australia Rennae Stubbs
2002 Spain Virginia Ruano Pascual & Argentina Paola Suárez
2003 Spain Virginia Ruano Pascual (2) & Argentina Paola Suárez (2)
2004 Spain Virginia Ruano Pascual (3) & Argentina Paola Suárez (3)
2005 United States Lisa Raymond (2) & Australia Samantha Stosur
2006 United States Lisa Raymond (3) & Australia Samantha Stosur (2)
2007 Zimbabwe Cara Black & United States Liezel Huber
2008 Zimbabwe Cara Black (2) & United States Liezel Huber (2)
2009 United States Serena Williams & Venus Williams
2010 Argentina Gisela Dulko & Italy Flavia Pennetta
2011 Czech Republic Kv?ta Peschke & Slovenia Katarina Srebotnik
2012 Italy Sara Errani & Italy Roberta Vinci
2013 Italy Sara Errani (2) & Italy Roberta Vinci (2)
2014 Italy Sara Errani (3) & Italy Roberta Vinci (3)
2015 Switzerland Martina Hingis (2) & India Sania Mirza
2016 France Caroline Garcia & France Kristina Mladenovic
2017 Switzerland Martina Hingis (3) & Chinese Taipei Chan Yung-jan
2018 Czech Republic Barbora Krej?íková & Czech Republic Kate?ina Siniaková
2019 Hungary Tímea Babos & France Kristina Mladenovic (2)
2020 No award due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021 Czech Republic Barbora Krej?íková (2) & Czech Republic Kate?ina Siniaková (2)
2022 Czech Republic Barbora Krej?íková (3) & Czech Republic Kate?ina Siniaková (3)

Junior

Singles (1978-2003)

Doubles (1978-2003)

Wheelchair

Men's wheelchair

Year Player
1991 United States Randy Snow
1992 France Laurent Giammartini
1993 Germany Kai Schramayer
1994 France Laurent Giammartini (2)
1995 Australia David Hall
1996 Netherlands Ricky Molier
1997 Netherlands Ricky Molier (2)
1998 Australia David Hall (2)
1999 United States Stephen Welch
2000 Australia David Hall (3)
2001 Netherlands Ricky Molier (3)
2002 Australia David Hall (4)
2003 Australia David Hall (5)
2004 Australia David Hall (6)
2005 France Michaël Jeremiasz
2006 Netherlands Robin Ammerlaan
2007 Japan Shingo Kunieda
2008 Japan Shingo Kunieda (2)
2009 Japan Shingo Kunieda (3)
2010 Japan Shingo Kunieda (4)
2011 Netherlands Maikel Scheffers
2012 France Stéphane Houdet
2013 Japan Shingo Kunieda (5)
2014 Japan Shingo Kunieda (6)
2015 Japan Shingo Kunieda (7)
2016 United Kingdom Gordon Reid
2017 Argentina Gustavo Fernández
2018 Japan Shingo Kunieda (8)
2019 Argentina Gustavo Fernández (2)
2020 No award due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021 Japan Shingo Kunieda (9)
2022 Japan Shingo Kunieda (10)

Women's wheelchair

Year Player
1991 Netherlands Chantal Vandierendonck
1992 Netherlands Monique Van Den Bosch
1993 Netherlands Monique Kalkman (2)
1994 Netherlands Monique Kalkman (3)
1995 Netherlands Monique Kalkman (4)
1996 Netherlands Chantal Vandierendonck (2)
1997 Netherlands Chantal Vandierendonck (3)
1998 Australia Daniela Di Toro
1999 Australia Daniela Di Toro (2)
2000 Netherlands Esther Vergeer
2001 Netherlands Esther Vergeer (2)
2002 Netherlands Esther Vergeer (3)
2003 Netherlands Esther Vergeer (4)
2004 Netherlands Esther Vergeer (5)
2005 Netherlands Esther Vergeer (6)
2006 Netherlands Esther Vergeer (7)
2007 Netherlands Esther Vergeer (8)
2008 Netherlands Esther Vergeer (9)
2009 Netherlands Esther Vergeer (10)
2010 Netherlands Esther Vergeer (11)
2011 Netherlands Esther Vergeer (12)
2012 Netherlands Esther Vergeer (13)
2013 Netherlands Aniek van Koot
2014 Japan Yui Kamiji
2015 Netherlands Jiske Griffioen
2016 Netherlands Jiske Griffioen (2)
2017 Japan Yui Kamiji (2)
2018 Netherlands Diede de Groot
2019 Netherlands Diede de Groot (2)
2020 No award due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021 Netherlands Diede de Groot (3)
2022 Netherlands Diede de Groot (4)

Quad's wheelchair

Year Player
2017 United States David Wagner
2018 Australia Dylan Alcott
2019 Australia Dylan Alcott (2)
2020 No award due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021 Australia Dylan Alcott (3)
2022 Netherlands Niels Vink

See also

References

ITF Constitution
  • Fecci, Vicki (6 January 2010). "Memorandum, Articles of Association and Bye-laws of ITF LIMITED; Trading as the International Tennis Federation" (PDF). Nassau, Bahamas: ITF. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 2013.

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b ITF Constitution, p.26, Rule 2.2(a)(iii)
  2. ^ "ITF opt for Hewitt and Capriati". BBC Online. 2 December 2001. Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ ITF Constitution, p.53 Appendix E
  4. ^ "Rafael Nadal, Garbine Muguruza win ITF Player of the Year awards". ESPN.com. 2017-12-08. Retrieved .
  5. ^ ITF Constitution, p.29: Article 29(a)
  6. ^ ITF Constitution, p.38 Regulation 3.1
  7. ^ ITF Constitution, Appendix E, pp.53, 60
  8. ^ "ITF Tennis - WHEELCHAIR - Articles - ITF to honour quad wheelchair world champions". www.itftennis.com. Archived from the original on 2017-12-13.
  9. ^ Gillen, Nancy (1 April 2020). "Santana and Stolle receive ITF Philippe Chatrier Award". Inside the Games. Retrieved 2020.
  10. ^ "World Champions Dinner". ITF. 2013. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  11. ^ a b c "Borg: Sitting on top of the World". Evening Independent. St. Petersburg, Florida. Associated Press. 17 January 1979. p. 11C. Retrieved 2013 – via Google News Archive.
  12. ^ "ITF celebrates 2019 World Champions". www.itftennis.com. Retrieved 2021.
  13. ^ a b Joe Jares (February 13, 1978). "Champion by committee". Sports Illustrated. Vol. 48, no. 8. p. 11.
  14. ^ "Wind, Herbert Warren (15 February 1978). "The Sports Scene: Budge and the Grand Slam". The New Yorker. Vol. 63. p. 76.
  15. ^ UPI (17 January 1984). "McEnroe tapped as world's best". The Bulletin. Bend, Oregon. p. D-1. Retrieved 2013.
  16. ^ "McEnroe crowned World Champ by tennis panel". Gainesville Sun. 17 January 1985. p. 3E. Retrieved 2013.
  17. ^ a b Fogarty, Mark (21 January 1986). "All the awards, plus a rebuke". The Age. p. 48. Retrieved 2013.
  18. ^ "It's official: Lendl best in world". Boca Raton News. 11 December 1986. p. 4D. Retrieved 2013.
  19. ^ a b "Lendl, not Edberg, named tennis world champion". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Associated Press. 18 December 1990. p. 1C. Retrieved 2013.
  20. ^ a b Tennis (in French). France (179). February 1991. On' a choisi de sanctionner un champion qui n'avait pas craint d'avouer publiquement le peu d'importance qu'il accordait à la Coupe du Grand Chelem, la fameuse invention de la FIT pour 'casser' l'ATP Tour. (It was decided to punish a champion who was not afraid to admit publicly how little he thought of the Grand Slam Cup, the famous ITF invention to 'break' the ATP Tour) {{cite journal}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ "Williams and Djokovic named 2013 ITF World Champion". ITF. 18 December 2013. Archived from the original on 24 January 2022. Retrieved 2018.
  22. ^ Ron Rosen (January 17, 1978). "Fie to Computers, Let People Decide". Washington Post.
  23. ^ Flink, Steve (30 September 2003). "Obituaries: Althea Gibson". The Independent. Retrieved 2013.

External links


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