The ITF announced today that Shingo Kunieda (JPN) and Esther Vergeer (NED) are the 2010 ITF Wheelchair Tennis World Champions.
Vergeer becomes world champion for a remarkable 11th successive year, while Kunieda wins the award for the fourth year running.
Vergeer won a remarkable 400th successive singles match en route to the No. 1 wheelchair tennis ranking for the 11th consecutive year. Despite playing a reduced schedule, she won all five singles tournaments contested, including Roland Garros, US Open and NEC Masters. Unbeaten since January 2003, the 29-year-old was honoured in the opening night ceremony at the US Open.
Vergeer said: “I did not expect to become the No. 1 again, especially because this was a year where I did not play a lot of tournaments. But the results I had this year were very good again. Working with Sven Groeneveld is putting new motivation and a new level of tennis in me.”
Kunieda secured the year-end No. 1 wheelchair tennis ranking for the fourth year running. The 26-year-old has captured six singles titles in 2010, including all three Grand Slam singles events: Australian Open, Roland Garros and US Open. His three-year unbeaten streak of 106 matches was ended in the semifinals of the NEC Masters, but he remains the dominant figure in the men’s game.
Kunieda said: “I am very honoured to be world champion four years in a row. I could only achieve it because of my all supporters. I'd like to keep working hard and continue to improve my tennis.”
Rafael Nadal (ESP) and Caroline Woznaiacki (NED) are also named ITF Men's and Women's Singles World Champions. This is the second time Nadal has been honoured, while Wozniacki becomes the first Danish player to receive a senior ITF award.
Bob and Mike Bryan (USA) are named Men’s Doubles World Champions for a record seventh occasion, while Gisela Dulko (ARG) and Flavia Pennetta (ITA) become Women’s Doubles World Champions for the first time.
Youth Olympic champions Juan Sebastian Gomez (COL) and Daria Gavrilova (RUS) are the 2010 ITF Junior World Champions.
ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “I would like to pay tribute to all the ITF World Champions for 2010, who have contributed to another successful year for the sport.
The ITF World Champions will receive their awards at the annual ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday 31 May, in Paris, during Roland Garros.