Former US Open champion Gabriela Sabatini is to receive this year's Philippe Chatrier Award. The Argentine, 48, will be awarded the International Tennis Federation honor this summer in recognition of her outstanding career in the game and work away from the court following her retirement.
Named after the former ITF President and introduced 23 years ago, the Philippe Chatrier Award is handed to individuals or organisations that have made significant contributions to tennis both on and off the court.
Sabatini enjoyed a fine career in the game, winning the US Open in 1990 and Wimbledon doubles in 1988, as well as taking the Olympic singles silver medal in Seoul. She retired in 1996 having won 27 singles titles and 14 doubles crowns, reaching a career-high singles rank of No.3. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006.
She has continued to contribute after her playing career and promotes the sport helping children around the world, working with UNICEF, UNESCO, the Special Olympics and also as an Athlete Role Model at last year's Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games.
“When you get an award for the career you spent your whole life in, it’s such a big honour," Sabatini, who will be presented with the award at the ITF World Champions Dinner in France on 4 June, said. "It’s especially nice because I’ll be getting the award in Paris – it’s a place that is special and I always loved playing there. It’s such an important night where they give all the important awards, I’m very pleased and very honoured.”
“The ITF Board of Directors are delighted to award the ITF’s highest accolade to Gabriela," ITF President David Haggerty added. "[She is] a great champion and inspirational role model who has given so much to the sport through her contributions to many organisations for the benefit of young people and aspiring tennis players around the world.”