08 Dec 2017

Geller and Osuigwe named ITF Junior World Champions

News Article

Osuigwe and geller

Axel Geller of Argentina and Whitney Osuigwe of USA are named ITF Junior World Champions.

Axel Geller is the first Argentine boy for 22 years to be named ITF Junior World Champion after a rapid rise up the rankings. The 18-year-old enjoyed Grand Slam success at both Wimbledon, winning the doubles title and reaching the singles final, and at the US Open where he also finished runner-up. His breakthrough season ended with a third-placed finish at the ITF Junior Masters and the year-end No. 1 ranking.

Geller said: “I am extremely happy and proud of this achievement. Starting the year, I knew I had the capability to do well, but I never imagined I would finish the year as world No. 1. I have had the opportunity to play the most important tournaments and see what the professionals do every day to be there, and this has motivated me to work even harder to try and get there and achieve great things in the future.”

Whitney Osuigwe becomes ITF Junior World Champion after climbing from world No. 95 to finish the year at No. 1. The 15-year-old claimed her first major title at Roland Garros and helped USA to glory in Junior Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, winning all eight rubbers in singles and doubles. She won a total of six singles and three doubles titles on the ITF Junior Circuit in 2017, including the season-ending Orange Bowl in Florida.

Osuigwe said: “It’s hard to put in words what exactly it means to have finished No. 1 this year and become Junior World Champion. This is very surprising and I could not be any happier. But I’d also like to think this is the result of the all hard work my team and I have gone through in the last year. I’m excited for what’s to come, and I hope we can keep up with the good results.”

The ITF World Champions will receive their awards at the 2018 ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday 5 June, in Paris, during Roland Garros. Eight of the eleven players are being honoured for the first time, including a record three South American players.

The ITF announced today that Spanish duo Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have been named the 2017 ITF World Champions. Nadal receives the honour for the third time, while it is the first year Muguruza has been recognised. This is the first time since Americans Pete Sampras and Lindsay Davenport in 1998 that the men’s and women’s ITF World Champions are from the same country.

In their first seasons together, Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Marcelo Melo of Brazil, and Chan Yun-Jan of Chinese Taipei and the recently-retired Martina Hingis of Switzerland are named Doubles World Champions.

David Wagner of USA becomes the inaugural ITF Quad Wheelchair World Champion; while Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina is named Men’s Wheelchair World Champion for the first time; and Japan’s Yui Kamiji earns her second Women's Wheelchair World Champion honour.

ITF President David Haggerty said: “All our 2017 ITF World Champions have demonstrated true courage and skill in another memorable year for tennis and I would like to thank them for their contribution.”