PARIS, France - Former WTA World No.1 Simona Halep and the top doubles duo of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova were honored on Tuesday evening at the ITF World Champions Dinner in Paris.
Taking a break from their French Open activities, the 2018 ITF World Champions received their trophies in recognition of their outstanding performances last season. Annabel Croft served as the master of ceremonies, while ITF President David Haggerty was on hand to present the champions with their trophies.
Photo gallery: Sabatini, Halep honored at ITF World Champions Dinner
Halep, the 2018 ITF World Champion in singles, started last year’s season with a win at the Shenzhen Open before going on to reach the Australian Open final. During the clay season, she reached the final in Rome before claiming the biggest trophy of her career at the French Open, her maiden Grand Slam title. As a result, Halep qualified for the WTA Finals and retained the WTA Year-End World No.1 ranking for the second year in a row.
“All my hard work has paid off and I’m so happy to be here tonight,” Halep said as she received her trophy. “Even though I play tomorrow, I couldn’t say no to this. I am so grateful for this trophy. It is very important for me and it will be with my top trophies; Grand Slam, No.1 and this one.”
The 2018 ITF World Champions in doubles were the all-Czech duo of Krejcikova and Siniakova. The current No.1-ranked team, Krejcikova and Siniakova earned the top spot as a result of their rapid rise last season, which saw them claim back-to-back Grand Slam trophies at the French Open and Wimbledon. In addition, the pair reached finals at Shenzhen and the Miami Open.
“It was an amazing year, I cannot describe it,” Siniakova said. “It was just amazing that we did so well in the juniors together and now in the pros. I have enjoyed it so much with hopefully many more titles to come.”
In addition to the 2018 World Champions, the ITF also honored former US Open champion Gabriela Sabatini with the Philippe Chatrier Award, the organization’s highest honor as a recognition of “her outstanding contribution to tennis both on and off the court.”
“More than 20 years have gone by since my retirement and the mark that tennis has left on me will be forever,” Sabatini said, accepting her award.
“Tennis and sport in general teaches values; it brings us together through sharing the same passion and gives us the opportunity to grow, to challenge ourselves and become better, not only as an athlete, but more importantly as a person."