World Champions Dinner

The ITF World Champions Dinner is an annual event that takes place in Paris during the Roland Garros fortnight. In 2017, it was held on Tuesday 6 June.

The celebration brings together over 400 members of the tennis family to honour the ITF World Champions, who are recognised for their outstanding performance from the previous year.

Great Britain's Andy Murray and Germany's Angelique Kerber scooped the top men's and women's singles awards after their performances during the 2016 season, while the best doubles teams, juniors and wheelchair players were also commended.

Philippe Chatrier Award

The Philippe Chatrier Award is named after the late former French player, who dedicated his life to tennis. After his playing career ended, he went on to become a journalist and then the President of both the International Tennis Federation and French Tennis Federation. He also served as France's Davis Cup captain.

The Philippe Chatrier Award is presented to someone who has given long and outstanding service to the game. Stefan Edberg was the first person to be honoured in 1996 and there have now been a total of 20 recipients. That list includes technology giants NEC in 2001, the year that marked the company's 20-year sponsorship of Davis Cup.

In 2017, Spanish duo Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez received the Philippe Chatrier Award for their services to the game as players and coaches. 

Casal and Sanchez first teamed up in 1984, when Casal, then 21, formed a doubles pair with the 19-year-old Sanchez at the suggestion of their mutual coach William Alvarez. So began an outstanding partnership that lasted 12 years on court and has continued for 20 years off court.

Casal and Sanchez were one of the leading doubles teams of their era, winning 44 tournaments together including two Grand Slam titles. They won the 1988 US Open and 1990 Roland Garros, and were finalists at Wimbledon in 1987. Competing at Seoul 1988 as tennis made its full return to the Olympics, Casal and Sanchez lost the final in five sets to Ken Flach and Robert Seguso, but their silver medal was one of just four medals captured by Spain at that Games.

They finished among the Top 10 doubles teams for 10 out of 11 years from 1985 to 1995, achieving the year-end No. 1 team ranking in 1987. They were also proficient singles players, Casal reaching a career-high ranking of No. 31 and Sanchez going as high as No. 7.

The pair had been thinking about starting a coaching academy even before they retired in 1997, and in 1998, they opened the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona. Their idea was to provide a complete education, with a school on the same site as the courts, so that students could train and study at the same time. They were also keen to make sure that, whether the children in their care made it as professional tennis players or not, they became good citizens in whatever they did in life.

Casal and Sanchez’s coaching model has flourished, with a second academy opening in Florida in 2012 and, last year, a third in Nanjing, China. They run programmes for adults and coaches alongside their work with promising players from all over the world. Their approach and the academy’s unique training system has produced many elite players, including world No. 1 Andy Murray, two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, Grigor Dimitrov, Daniel Hantuchova and Juan Monaco.

Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez received the Philippe Chatrier Award at the ITF World Champions Dinner in Paris on 6 June 2017.

Honour roll

- 2017: Sergio Casal (ESP) and Emilio Sanchez (ESP)
- 2016: Brad Parks (USA)
- 2015: Mary Carillo (USA)
- 2014: Todd Woodbridge (AUS) and Mark Woodforde (AUS)
- 2013: All England Lawn Tennis Club 
- 2012: Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (ESP)
- 2011: Guy Forget (FRA)
- 2010: Gustavo Kuerten (BRA)
- 2009: Martina Navratilova (USA)
- 2008: Neale Fraser (AUS)
- 2007: John McEnroe (USA)
- 2006: Margaret Court (AUS)
- 2005: Tony Trabert (USA)
- 2004: Yannick Noah (FRA)
- 2003: Billie Jean King (USA)
- 2002: Jack Kramer (USA)
- 2001: NEC
- 2000: Juan Antonio Samaranch (ESP)
- 1999: Nicola Pietrangeli (ITA)
- 1998: Rod Laver (AUS)
- 1997: Chris Evert (USA)
- 1996: Stefan Edberg (SWE)