Andy and Jamie Murray, Angelique Kerber, and Gordon Reid among 2016 ITF World Champions
Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber are the 2016 ITF World Champions, it has been announced
Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber are the 2016 ITF World Champions, it has been announced. This is the first year that either player has received this honour.
In an historic year for the Murray family, Andy’s brother Jamie, with partner Bruno Soares, became Men’s Doubles World Champions—the first time that two brothers have been named as men’s singles and men’s doubles world champions in the same year.
French pair Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic are Women’s Doubles Champions.
Gordon Reid becomes the third British player to be honoured, as ITF Wheelchair World Champion, with Jiske Griffioen becoming women’s World Champion for the second year running.
Miomir Kecmanovic and Anastasia Potapova are named ITF Junior World Champions.
All the champions will receive their awards at the 2017 ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday 6 June, in Paris, during Roland Garros. Nine of the ten players are being honoured for the first time.
Andy Murray sealed the year-end No1 ranking in the final match of the season after defeating great rival Novak Djokovic to win the ATP World Tour Finals. He won a total of nine titles during a milestone year, including his second Wimbledon triumph, and became the first player in history to win two Olympic singles gold medals in Rio 2016.
Murray said: “It means a lot to me to be named ITF World Champion. I have had such a memorable year, winning again at Wimbledon, retaining my Olympic title, and clinching the year-end No1 ranking in the last match of the season. It is particularly special with my brother Jamie also becoming World Champion.”
Kerber becomes Germany’s first World Champion since Steffi Graf received the last of seven awards in 1996. The 28-year-old enjoyed a stunning season, defeating Serena Williams to capture her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, before going on to win the US Open. She was also a silver medallist at the Olympic Tennis Event and runner-up at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals.
Kerber said: “I’m truly honoured to be named ITF World Champion and to line up with all these past champions. This year was by far the best of my career with so many unforgettable experiences and emotions. I am grateful for the recognition and I’m looking forward to the upcoming challenges.”
Jamie Murray and Soares clinched the year-end No1 team ranking in the very last event of 2016 at the ATP World Tour Finals. The duo enjoyed a breakthrough first season together, capturing their first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, and going on to win the US Open.
Garcia and Mladenovic also enjoyed an outstanding first season together to end 2016 as the No1-ranked team, and help France reach the Fed Cup Final. They captured their first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, and went on to reach the final at the US Open. This is the second honour for Mladenovic, who received the ITF Junior World Champion award in 2009.
Reid had an outstanding year to become the first British player to become Wheelchair World Champion. The 25-year-old won his first two Grand Slam singles titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and was also runner-up at Roland Garros. He went on to win singles gold at the Paralympic Tennis Event, before clinching the year-end No1 ranking by reaching the final of the NEC Masters.
Griffioen is the only repeat ITF World Champion in 2016, collecting the women’s wheelchair honour for the second year. The 31-year-old captured two of the three Grand Slam singles titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and went on to win two gold medals at the Paralympic Tennis Event. She finished 2016 with victory at the NEC Masters and held the No1 ranking throughout the year.
Kecmanovic is the first Serbian player to be named Junior World Champion following a triumphant end of season. The 17-year-old from Belgrade enjoyed an 18-match winning streak in winning the titles in Mexico City, the Eddie Herr tournament and Orange Bowl to seal the year-end No1 ranking. He won a total of four singles and two doubles titles, and was runner-up at the US Open.
Potapova becomes champion in her first full season on the ITF junior circuit. The 15-year-old from Russia reached the quarter-finals or better at all four Grand Slam tournaments, winning her first major title at Wimbledon. She was also a semi-finalist at Roland Garros, and captured a total of three singles and one doubles title.
The ITF’s selection of its senior World Champions is based on an objective system that considers all results during the year, but gives special weight to the Olympic Tennis Event, Grand Slam tournaments, and two ITF international team competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup.