Rafael Nadal, Caroline Wozniacki Named This Year's Tennis World Champions

Rafael Nadal and Caroline Wozniacki, the top-ranked tennis players, were named ITF world champions, the International Tennis Federation said.

“This has been another memorable year for tennis,” ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti said in an e-mailed statement. “Nadal has proved himself to be one of the greatest competitors in the sport’s history, while Caroline Wozniacki has shown a strong determination and continuous commitment to the game to earn the women’s No. 1 ranking at such a young age.”

Nadal this year won his fifth French Open, a second Wimbledon championship and the U.S. Open. His triumph in New York made the 24-year-old lefthander from Majorca the youngest man since tennis turned professional to have won all the four tennis majors.

“It is an honor to be named ITF World Champion for the second time,” Nadal said. “After a difficult year in 2009, it was an amazing feeling to regain the No. 1 ranking and finally win the U.S. Open. My goal all the time is to keep improving and be a better player each year than I was the previous year.”

Wozniacki became the fourth-youngest woman after Martina Hingis, Monica Seles and Steffi Graf to earn the year-end No. 1 ranking.

“To be listed with all the former ITF world champions is something I am really proud of,” Wozniacki said. “I had a great year in 2010 and I’m training hard to have an even better year in 2011.”

Although the 20-year-old righthander from Denmark was the most consistent player on the women’s circuit, winning a WTA Tour-high six titles, she had yet to win a major.

Replacing Serena

Wozniacki this year made the semifinals of the U.S. Open and the quarterfinals of Roland Garros. Serena Williams, last year’s ITF world champion, won the Australian Open and Wimbledon. The American, whose foot injury has stopped her from playing since she grabbed her 13th major trophy at Wimbledon, lost her No. 1 ranking to Wozniacki in October.

Bob and Mike Bryan were named men’s doubles world champions for the seventh time in eight years. The U.S. twins won 11 titles without losing in a final, including two trophies at the Australian Open and U.S. Open.

Gisela Dulko of Argentina and Italy’s Flavia Pennetta were chosen as women’s doubles world champions. In only their first season together, the pair won seven titles, including the season-ending WTA Championships in Doha, and finished the year as No. 1.

The ITF’s selection of its senior world champions is based on a system that considers not only performances in the Grand Slam tournaments and respective tours, but also gives weight to performances in the two ITF elite team competitions, the Davis Cup and Fed Cup.

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Danielle Rossingh at the London sports desk at drossingh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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