The ITF announced today that Novak Djokovic (SRB) and Petra Kvitova (CZE) are the 2011 ITF World Champions. This is the first time either player has received this honour.
Bob and Mike Bryan (USA) are named Men’s Doubles World Champions for the eighth occasion, while Kveta Peschke (CZE) and Katarina Srebotnik (SLO) become Women’s Doubles World Champions for the first time.
A third Czech player Jiri Vesely is named ITF Junior World Champion alongside Irina Khromacheva of Russia, while the ITF Wheelchair World Champions are Dutch duo Esther Vergeer and Maikel Scheffers. Vergeer becomes world champion for an astonishing 12th successive year.
The ITF World Champions will receive their awards at the annual ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday 5 June, in Paris, during Roland Garros.
Novak Djokovic becomes the first man other than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to be named ITF World Champion since 2003. The 24-year-old enjoyed a remarkable 12 months, beginning with a 43-match winning streak, and ending with three Grand Slam titles, Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open, and the year-end No. 1 ranking. He won a total of 10 titles in 2011, boasting a 70-6 overall win-loss record.
Djokovic said: “I am proud to have been named the ITF World Champion for 2011. Starting with victory in last year's Davis Cup Final, this has been an almost perfect 12 months for me. I have always dreamed about becoming the best in the world, and to have won three Grand Slam titles and finished the year as No. 1 is very special.”
Petra Kvitova is the first Czech player to become a singles world champion since Ivan Lendl was honoured for the fourth time in 1990. The 21-year-old edged out last year’s champion Caroline Wozniacki thanks to her first Grand Slam triumph at Wimbledon before leading Czech Republic to victory in Fed Cup by BNP Paribas. She won a total of six titles during the year, including the year-end WTA Championships.
Kvitova said: “I will cherish this award, which is the cherry on top of a wonderful year in which I managed to win Wimbledon, the WTA Championships, and together with the Czech team the Fed Cup. It was a dream year and something I will never forget.”
ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “Both Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova have managed to combine strong performances for their country with outstanding individual records. Novak’s achievements this year are remarkable in such a strong era for men’s tennis, while Petra has made a major breakthrough on the women’s tour.”
Bob and Mike Bryan are Men’s Doubles World Champions for the eighth time in nine years. The brothers won two further Grand Slam titles, at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, to match Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge’s Open Era record of 11 titles. They won a total of eight titles during the year, extending their all-time record for career doubles titles to 75 events.
Mike Bryan said: “Bob and I are very proud to receive this prestigious award as ITF World Champions. We always strive to excel at the Slams and finish the year as the top team and we're happy we were able to do that in 2011. I want to congratulate all the champions and we look forward to another great awards dinner in Paris.”
Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik are Women’s Doubles World Champions for the first time, with Srebotnik the first Slovenian world champion in any category. The duo won a tour-high six doubles titles during the year, including their first Grand Slam success at Wimbledon, and ended the year as the No. 1-ranked team. Thirty-six-year-old Peschke also won the decisive point in Czech Republic’s Fed Cup Final victory.
Peschke said: “I am so happy and proud to receive this award from the ITF. It has been such a wonderful year for me and Katarina. We achieved almost everything I could dream of, winning Wimbledon, claiming the number one doubles ranking, and ending the year as the number one team.”
Srebotnik said: “To become the number one player is a milestone that only a few players ever achieve and on top of this we won our first Grand Slam at Wimbledon. Finishing the year as World Champion is something that makes me extremely proud and I will always look back on this season with a smile on my face."
The ITF’s selection of its senior World Champions is based on an objective system that considers all results during the year, but gives weight to the Grand Slam tournaments and two ITF international team competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.
Jiri Vesely is the third player from the Czech Republic to become a 2011 ITF World Champion after holding the No. 1 junior boys ranking all year. The 18-year-old captured both singles and doubles titles at the Australian Open, and was also a singles runner-up at the US Open and doubles finalist at Wimbledon. He won a total of three singles and three doubles titles.
Vesely said: “It is a great honour for me, as well as a great incentive. I understand it as an appreciation of my previous efforts and also the work of my team, all those who are helping me and supporting me. We intend to go on working hard to prove this award is well deserved."
Irina Khromacheva follows compatriot Daria Gavrilova as Girls Junior World Champion after being the most consistent performer on the ITF Junior Circuit to earn the year-end No. 1 ranking. The 16-year-old posted a 77-9 win-loss record in singles and doubles, winning a total of four singles and six doubles titles. She won two Grand Slam doubles crowns, and was a singles finalist at Wimbledon.
Khromacheva said: “I am very happy to finish 2011 as No. 1 junior in the world. It is an important achievement for me. I understand pretty well that this is just the beginning of a long way up, and will spare no effort to repeat the same result in women's tennis.”
Esther Vergeer extended her winning streak to 434 matches en route to the year-end No. 1 wheelchair tennis ranking for the 12th consecutive year. She won eight singles titles, including all three Grand Slam singles events and the year-end NEC Masters. Unbeaten in singles since January 2003, the 30-year-old also won all four Grand Slam doubles titles and the Invacare Doubles Masters, and led Netherlands women to victory in the ITF World Team Cup.
Vergeer said: “I’m so proud of being ITF World Champion again this year. It has been a great and successful year for me and I am looking forward to the Paralympics in 2012. I will play tournaments and train hard in the coming year to prepare for my main goal: a gold medal in London.”
Maikel Scheffers has ended Shingo Kunieda’s reign as Men’s Wheelchair World Champion after guaranteeing himself the year-end No. 1 wheelchair tennis ranking. The 29-year-old captured six singles titles in 2011, including his first Grand Slam success at Roland Garros, and five doubles titles. He was runner-up at the NEC Masters, and helped Netherlands men regain the ITF World Team Cup.
Scheffers said: "It's been a very memorable year for me, the highlight of which was beating Shingo for the first time and winning my first Grand Slam at Roland Garros. I'm very proud to become Wheelchair World Champion and now I will focus on trying to become Paralympic champion in London in 2012."
ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “I would like to pay tribute to all the ITF World Champions for 2011, who have contributed to another memorable year for our sport.”