The ITF has announced that Serena Williams of the United States and Novak Djokovic of Serbia are the 2013 ITF 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, while the ITF Wheelchair World Champions are Aniek van Koot of Netherlands and Japan’s Shingo Kunieda, who becomes men’s champion for the fifth time.
The ITF’s selection of its senior World Champions is based on an objective system that considers all results during the year, but gives special weight to the Grand Slam tournaments, and two ITF international team competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.
The ITF World Champions will receive their awards at the ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday 3 June, in Paris, during Roland Garros.
Serena Williams is named Women’s World Champion for the second straight year after reclaiming the year-end world No. 1 ranking for the first time since 2009. The 32-year-old was almost invincible in 2013, winning 78 of 82 singles matches played, and a career-best 11 titles. She captured two Grand Slam titles, at Roland Garros and the US Open, to stand at 17 career majors, and went on to win the year-end WTA Championships.
Novak Djokovic narrowly edges out Rafael Nadal to become Men’s World Champion thanks to his consistency at the Grand Slam tournaments and year-end performances. The 26-year-old won his third successive Australian Open title, and was a finalist at Wimbledon and the US Open and a semifinalist at Roland Garros. He won seven titles during the year, including the ATP World Tour Finals, and was unbeaten in seven singles rubbers as Serbia reached the Davis Cup Final.
Djokovic said: “It is an honour to be named ITF World Champion for the third year running. I’ve had a great 2013 season, and managed to end the year on a high. This will definitely serve as a good platform for 2014.”
ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “Serena Williams demonstrated once again why she is one of the greatest athletes of all time, and is a worthy winner of the women’s award. The men’s award was more closely contested, but our criteria rewards players for their performances at the Grand Slam tournaments and in our team competitions.
"Rafael Nadal made a remarkable comeback from injury with two Grand Slam wins, but it is Novak Djokovic’s consistent results across all four Slams, Davis Cup and the ATP World Tour Finals that see him named World Champion.”
Bob and Mike Bryan are named Men’s Doubles World Champions for the tenth time after a spectacular year in which they narrowly failed to complete the Grand Slam. Victories at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon saw the brothers hold all four majors at the same time, before they lost in the semifinals in New York. They won 11 events during 2013, to improve their all-time records to 15 Grand Slam titles and 93 titles in total.
Mike Bryan said: “We are very excited to be named ITF World Champions again. It's hard to believe we've won this award ten times given the strength of the competition the past decade. This may have been the best year of our careers and we look forward to another memorable awards dinner.”
Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci are the first pair since 2008 to be named Women’s Doubles World Champions in consecutive years. The Italians’ year was highlighted by three titles together, including the Australian Open, and they went on to lead their country to victory in Fed Cup by BNP Paribas. They were also finalists at Roland Garros, and ended the year co-ranked No. 1 on the WTA Doubles Rankings.
Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci said: “We are both very happy to be Women’s Doubles World Champions for the second consecutive year. It is a great pleasure and honour to have finished this year as No. 1 in the doubles rankings. Our goal for 2014 is to continue these results.”
Belinda Bencic is only the third Swiss player, after Roger Federer and Martina Hingis, to be named ITF World Champion in any category after securing the year-end No. 1 girls ranking. The 16-year-old was unbeaten until late July, winning 39 straight matches and two Grand Slam titles, at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. She was also a quarterfinalist at the US Open and ended the year with six titles and an overall 42-2 singles win loss record.
Bencic said: “To be World Champion is very special and a great feeling. Without my team and without my sponsors I would have never reached this goal. Thanks a lot to all those who supported me during the last few years.”
Alexander Zverev is also only the third player from his country, after Boris Becker and Steffi Graf, to be named ITF World Champion after becoming the youngest year-end boys’ No. 1 since 2005. The 16-year-old was the most consistent performer on the ITF Junior Circuit, winning two singles titles and reaching three other finals including Roland Garros. He is the brother of tennis professional Mischa.
Zverev said: “Seeing the list of past winners of this award, it is an honour to be named the ITF Boys World Champion for 2013 in this 100th year of the ITF. Hopefully the experience at these international junior events will lead to more experience at the professional level.”
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.”
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.”