LONDON, England - Serena Williams has been named ITF Women's World Champion for the sixth time in her career, it was announced Tuesday, adding 2015 to 2002, 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
The ITF has been naming ITF World Champions since 1978, and Williams is just the third WTA player to win it six or more times after Martina Navratilova (who won six times - 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986) and Steffi Graf (who won seven times - 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1995 and 1996).
"It means a lot to me to be named the ITF World Champion for the sixth time," the World No.1 said about the news. "I am proud to have achieved my second Serena Slam, in what has been an amazing year for me. Thank you for this recognition and for the undying support of the tennis community."
ITF World Champion is the latest in a long list of accolades Williams has received after her dynamite 2015 season - she earned the WTA Year-End World No.1 Singles Ranking presented by Dubai Duty Free, she was voted WTA Player Of The Year and Sports Illustrated Sportsperson Of The Year, and last week she hit a more unique milestone, the first WTA player to cross 6 million Twitter followers.
Also coming away with a big honor on Wednesday was the doubles team of Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza, who received the ITF Women's Doubles World Champions honor. Hingis had won it once before, in 1999 alongside Anna Kournikova, while Mirza received the honor for the first time.
"It is a great honor to be named ITF Women's Doubles World Champions," Hingis commented. "Sania and I have enjoyed every minute of the season and we hope to continue in 2016 in the same fashion. We are set to join a long list of champions and it is a privilege to be recognized alongside them."
"I am very honored to receive this award from the ITF after what has been a great year for me and Martina. It is incredible that we have achieved so much in such a short time playing together," said Mirza, who also had some powerful and inspirational words for her countrywomen. "I am grateful to everyone that has helped me in my career and I hope my success can inspire other girls in India."
The ITF's selection of its World Champions is based on an objective system that considers all results during the year, but gives special weight to the Grand Slam tournaments and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.
The winners will receive their awards at the ITF World Champions Dinner during the French Open.
? ITF (@ITF_Tennis) December 22, 2015