Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Aryna Sabakenka of Belarus were named by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) on Thursday as its ‘world champions’ of 2023 for their performances this year, particularly in the Grand Slams.

Profile of Novak Djokovic. /CFP

Profile of Novak Djokovic. /CFP

Earlier in November, Djokovic secured a record eighth year as ATP world No. 1 when he beat Holger Rune of Denmark in his opening match at the ATP Finals in Turin. He won three Grand Slams this year including the Australian, French and U.S. Opens which put him on tie with Margret Court for all-time most majors titles of 24. He was also the runner-up at Wimbledon, and won the ATP Finals title for a record seventh time. The ITF World Champion award added yet another record to the 36-year-old Serb’s fruitful year.

Grand Slam victories and ITF international team competitions are what the ITF put extra emphasis on during their selection process, for which defending Australian Open champion Sabalenka beat world No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland to win this award credit to her maiden Grand Slam victory.

Profile of Aryna Sabalenka. /CFP

Profile of Aryna Sabalenka. /CFP

Profile of Aryna Sabalenka. /CFP

This was the first ITF ‘world champions’ title for the 25-year-old. Besides for her first Grand Slam, Sabalenka finished as the runner-up at the U.S. Open and made it to the semifinals at the French Open and Wimbledon. She also rose to world No. 1 in the WTA rankings for the first time in her career in September before finishing the year at No. 2 behind Swiatek, the WTA Player of the Year.

Other ITF World Champions included Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens in women’s doubles, Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in men’s doubles, Diede de Groot in the women’s wheelchair category, Alfie Hewett in the men’s wheelchair category, Niels Vink in the quad wheelchair category, and Alina Korneeva and Joao Fonseca in the juniors categories.

(With input from agency)

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *