Rafael Nadal has been named this year’ Men’s World Champions by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) following a successful season in which he claimed two grand slam titles, first the Australian Open and then breaking his own record at Roland Garros with his 14th French Open victory to improve his overall tally of grand slams to 22, to set a new record.
When I first won the award in 2008, I would not have expected to still be playing at such a high level 14 years later Rafa Nadal
“I´m very happy to be named ITF World Champion for the fifth time,” the 36-year-old Spaniard said on the news going public.
“When I first won the award in 2008, I would not have expected to still be playing at such a high level 14 years later.”
In addition, Nadal reached the last four at Wimbledon but pulled out with an abdominal injury which then marred the remainder of his season as he didn’t play until the Cincinnati Masters losing in the second round and then the US Open, where he lost in the fourth round.
On the doubles front Britain’s Joe Salisbury and his American partner Rajeev Ram have been named the Men´s doubles world champions in a partnership which has only been together for three seasons.
This year they won their third grand slam title at the US Open as well as pocketing the ATP Finals championship in Turin plus two Masters’ titles (Monte Carlo and Cincinnati).
Individually both plyers have also topped the doubles rankings list at various stages of the season.
“We are very honoured to have won this prestigious award from the ITF as recognition for the successes we have had,” Salisbury said following the announcement. “We are very proud of all we have achieved this year.”
Salisbury is only the second Briton to be named an ITF World Champion in doubles after Jamie Murray’s success in 2016 and becomes the sixth British player to be crowned in any category joining Andy Murry (2016 Men’s singles) .Gordon Reid (2016 – men’s wheelchair) and Lee Childs and James Nelson (2000 – boys’ doubles).