PARIS, France - Serena Williams was crowned ITF World Champion at a dinner in Paris on Tuesday evening.
The ITF's World Champions Dinner, which forms part of the governing body's centenary celebrations, was held at the Pavillon d'Armenonville and was attended by a who's who of world tennis.
Williams, who hours earlier had booked her spot in the French Open semifinals, was picking up the award for the third time in her career, having also triumphed in 2002 and 2009. Last year saw Williams reestablish herself at the top of the women's game, winning Wimbledon and the US Open, as well as picking up Olympic gold in singles and doubles.
Also honored in the French capital was the All-England Club, which received the ITF's highest accolade, the Philippe Chatrier Award, in recognition of its contribution to tennis.
Despite its status as the home of tennis, the All-England Club has never been afraid to embrace change, treading a well-judged line between tradition and innovation. In 1968, it staged the first 'open' Championships, helping trigger tennis' move from amateur to professional era, and through the years it has continued to evolve, in turn helping inspire future generations to take up the sport.
"As a sport, tennis is blessed to have an organization like the All-England Club, always generous and never complacent, promoting our sport around the world while continuing to set very high standards for themselves and for those privileged to compete at Wimbledon," ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said.