Photo: Takeo TanumaAniek van Koot (NED)
The ITF announced today that Shingo Kunieda of Japan and Aniek Van Koot of Netherlands are the 2013 ITF Wheelchair World Champions.
Shingo Kunieda becomes Men’s Wheelchair World Champion for the fifth time after regaining the year-end world No. 1 ranking. The 29-year-old reached the finals of all three Grand Slam singles events in 2013, winning his 14th major title at the Australian Open. He also won the season-ending NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters to finish the year with a total of seven titles and a 41-7 win-loss record.
Kunieda said: “I am proud that this marks my fifth time as ITF World Champion, which gives me great confidence for the next season. It is always one of my goals to be world champion, and I will try my best to retain the title next year.”
Aniek van Koot follows her compatriot Esther Vergeer as Women’s Wheelchair World Champion, having come out on top in a year-long battle with Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock for the No. 1 ranking. The 23-year-old captured two of the three Grand Slam singles titles, at the Australian Open and US Open, and also achieved the doubles Grand Slam with another Dutchwoman Jiske Griffioen. She also led Netherlands to victory in the BNP Paribas World Team Cup.
Van Koot said: “Never could I have imagined to be the best of the world in something. Therefore it gives me great pleasure that it's in wheelchair tennis, my biggest passion.”
The ITF also announced today that that Serena Williams of the United States and Novak Djokovic of Serbia are the 2013 ITF Men’s and Women’s World Champions. Williams is named Women’s World Champion for the fourth time, while this is the third successive year that Djokovic has received the honour.
Americans Bob and Mike Bryan are named Men’s Doubles World Champions for the tenth time in 11 years, while Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy become Women’s Doubles World Champions for the second successive year
Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic and Alexander Zverev of Germany are named ITF Junior World Champions,
The ITF World Champions will receive their awards at the ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday 3 June, in Paris, during Roland Garros.
ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “It has been another outstanding year for our sport, and I would like to pay tribute to all the 2013 ITF World Champions for their contribution.”