The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced that Australia’s Ashleigh Barty and Rafael Nadal of Spain have been named 2019 ITF World Champions.
Barty is the first Australian to be named ITF Women’s World Champion having become the first Australian woman to reach No.1 in the world rankings since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1976. She claimed her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, lifted the trophy at the WTA Finals in Shenzen and led Australia to their first Fed Cup by BNP Paribas final since 1993.
Barty said, “I’m honoured to be named this year’s ITF World Champion. 2019 has been an incredible year, winning the French Open and making the Fed Cup Final were highlights. I’m so proud of my team and I for what we have achieved and can’t wait for the 2020 season to begin.”
Nadal, who is named ITF World Champion for the fourth time, said, “I am very happy to be named ITF World Champion and receive this award from the ITF. To finish as No. 1 on the ATP rankings for a fifth time and win two more Grand Slam titles this year has been something that looking a few years back we would have never thought it would happen. And as a perfect end, it was particularly special to win the Davis Cup at home in Spain. Thank you also to my team who has been with me all this time.”
Nadal is the fifth player to finish as year-end No.1 on five or more occasions alongside Jimmy Connors, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Pete Sampras. He won 58 of the 65 matches he contested in 2019 and has only lost one match since Wimbledon.
ITF Doubles World Champions
Timea Babos of Hungary and France’s Kristina Mladenovic will receive the award in the women’s doubles category following a successful and consistent campaign for the pair, underpinned by their triumph at Roland Garros, their second Grand Slam title as a partnership, followed by victory at the WTA Finals.
The men’s doubles World Champions are Colombia’s Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah who became the first Colombians to win a Grand Slam men’s doubles title with victory at Wimbledon, before securing back-to-back Grand Slam titles at the US Open. The pair won a total of five titles in 2019 and are the second all-South American team to finish as year-end No.1 since the inception of the rankings. ITF Wheelchair World Champions
Argentina’s Gustavo Fernandez, Netherlands’ Diede de Groot and Australia’s Dylan Alcott have been announced as the men’s, women’s and quad World Champions in the wheelchair division, all of whom added three Grand Slam titles to their ever-increasing list of successes in 2019.
De Groot, who is ITF World Champion for the second consecutive year, captured the titles at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and US Open. With her victory in Paris, de Groot completed the career Grand Slam and became the first wheelchair player to complete a non-calendar year Grand Slam. She finished the year with an impressive 45-4 win-loss record.
Fernandez enjoyed an eleven-trophy season with five doubles titles and six singles titles, including his victories at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and US Open. This is the second time in three years that he has been named men’s wheelchair World Champion.
Alcott, who is ITF World Champion for the second year running, was also crowned champion at the first three Grand Slam events of the year and secured the calendar year Grand Slam in doubles. His loss in the US Open final was his only defeat all year in both singles and doubles, finishing the year with a 16-1 singles win-loss record.
ITF Junior World Champions
The junior World Champions are Argentina’s Thiago Tirante and France’s Diane Parry. Tirante won five singles titles in 2019, three of them at Grade A level, including the prestigious Orange Bowl last week which secured his place at the top of the junior rankings in the last match of the season. Parry follows in the footsteps of compatriot and 2018 junior champion, Clara Burel, clinching the No. 1 ranking with victory at the ITF World Tennis Tour Junior Finals in Chengdu and winning 11 consecutive matched to end her 2019 season.
ITF President David Haggerty said: “Congratulations to our 2019 ITF World Champions who have demonstrated immense skill, talent and dedication on their way to achieving great success on the court. They are a credit to our sport and have all contributed to another memorable year for tennis.”
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 Grand Slam tournaments, and two ITF international team competitions, Davis Cup, The World Cup of Tennis and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.
The ITF World Champions will receive their awards at the 2020 ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday 2 June, in Paris, during Roland Garros.