First-time Wimbledon winners Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova were named world champions by the International Tennis Federation.
Both players “have managed to combine strong performances for their country with outstanding individual records,” ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti said in an e-mailed statement. “Novak’s achievements this year are remarkable in such a strong era for men’s tennis, while Petra has made a major breakthrough on the women’s tour.”
Djokovic won 41 straight matches until the French Open semifinals in June and taking the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open titles. The 24-year-old Serb claimed the top spot in men’s tennis from Rafael Nadal of Spain in July. He won 10 titles in 2011, boasting a 70-6 overall win-loss record.
“Starting with victory in last year’s Davis Cup Final, this has been an almost perfect twelve months for me,” Djokovic said in the statement. “I have always dreamed about becoming the best in the world, and to have won three Grand Slam titles and finished the year as No. 1 is very special.”
It’s the first time Djokovic and Kvitova have won the award.
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.
Kvitova is the first player from the Czech Republic to be names ITF world champion since Ivan Lendl in 1990. The 21-year-old won six titles this season, including her first major at Wimbledon and the season-ending WTA Championships in Istanbul. She also led her country to victory at the Fed Cup, the elite team competition for women’s tennis.
“It was a dream year and something I will never forget,” Kvitova said in the statement.
Just like last year, Bob and Mike Bryan were named men’s doubles world champions. The U.S. twins won eight titles, including the Australian Open and Wimbledon. They are now tied with Australian pair Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge’s Open Era record of 11 major titles.
Czech Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia were named women’s doubles world champions for the first time. The pair won six doubles titles during the year, including their first Grand Slam success at Wimbledon, and ended the year as the top-ranked team.