Federer, Clijsters named 2005 ITF World Champions
The ITF announced today that Roger Federer (SUI) and Kim Clijsters (BEL) are ITF World Champions for 2005.
Federer becomes only the sixth man to be named ITF World Champion for two consecutive years, following Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Pete Sampras and Lleyton Hewitt. The 24-year-old defended his Wimbledon and US Open titles, winning a total of 11 titles for the second consecutive year. He maintained the world No. 1 ranking throughout the year, posting an 81-4 overall win-loss record. He also helped Switzerland retain its place in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group.
Clijsters is the second Belgian in three years to be named Women’s World Champion following Justine Henin-Hardenne in 2003, and narrowly edged out year-end world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport for the honour. The 22-year-old captured her first Grand Slam title at the 2005 US Open, winning a tour-high nine titles during the year. She also helped Belgium preserve its World Group status in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.
The ITF’s selection of its World Champions is based on an objective system that considers not only performances at the Grand Slams, on the respective tours and at the season-ending events, but also gives weight to performances in the two ITF international team competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.
ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “Roger Federer was again the clear choice for ITF World Champion after another outstanding season. In a much closer women’s contest, Kim Clijsters’s US Open victory and overall consistency saw her come out on top.”
The ITF also announced that Bob and Mike Bryan (USA), and Lisa Raymond (USA) and Samantha Stosur (AUS) are ITF Doubles World Champions for 2005.
The Bryans have become the first men’s pair to secure three consecutive World Champions honours. The pairing reached all four Grand Slam finals in 2005, capturing their second career Grand Slam title at the US Open. They won five titles overall during the year, and continued to represent the USA in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas.
Raymond and Stosur, who teamed up for the first time in July 2005, went on to capture five titles, including the US Open and season-ending WTA Tour Championships. This is Raymond’s second time as Doubles World Champion, having won the 2001 award with another Australian, Rennae Stubbs. Both players represented their country in this year’s Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.
Donald Young (USA) has become the youngest ever ITF Junior Boys’ World Champion, at 16 years 5 months, after holding off a final-week challenge from Croatia’s Marin Cilic. Young has held the No. 1 ranking since winning the Australian Open in January, and also captured the US Open doubles title. He is the third American to receive this honour after Brian Dunn in 1992 and Andy Roddick in 2000.
Viktoria Azarenka (BLR) finishes the year as ITF Junior Girls’ World Champion, becoming the first Belarus player to be named Junior World Champion. The 16-year-old former ITF Development Team member won two Grand Slam singles titles, the Australian Open and US Open, and three Grand Slam doubles titles. She boasted a 50-3 overall win-loss record in singles and doubles for the year.
The ITF Wheelchair World Champions are Michael Jeremiasz (FRA) and Esther Vergeer (NED).
Twenty-four-year-old Jeremiasz is champion for the first time, after winning eight singles titles, and 10 doubles titles. Vergeer finishes 2005 as ITF World Champion for the sixth consecutive year and was undefeated in 2005 in singles, winning 16 singles titles and 13 doubles titles.
ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “I want to extend my congratulations to all the ITF World Champions. This has been another memorable year in tennis, helped by the performances of these outstanding individuals. The ITF is proud to name them ITF World Champions for 2005.”
The ITF World Champions will receive their awards at the annual ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday 6 June, in Paris during Roland Garros.