The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced that Novak Djokovic of Serbia and American Serena Williams have been named the 2012 ITF World Champions. This is the second consecutive year that Djokovic has received the honor, while Serena is named Women’s World Champion for the third time. Americans Bob and Mike Bryan have been named Men’s Doubles World Champions for the ninth time in 10 years, while Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy have become Women’s Doubles World Champions for the first time.
Canada’s Filip Peliwo and Taylor Townsend of USA are named ITF Junior World Champions, while the ITF Wheelchair World Champions are Esther Vergeer of Netherlands and France’s Stephane Houdet. Vergeer becomes world champion for an astonishing 13th successive year.
The ITF World Champions will receive their awards at the ITF World Champions Dinner in June in Paris during the 2013 French Open.
Djokovic finished on top of the rankings and as ITF World Champion for the second straight year. The 25-year-old successfully defended his Australian Open title and went on to reach the finals at Roland Garros and the US Open. Despite losing the number one ranking to Roger Federer in July, he regained the top position in November and went on to win the ATP World Tour Finals. He won a total of six titles in 2012.
“I am proud to have been named ITF World Champion for the second successive year," said Djokovic. "It was very difficult to follow up such a successful season in 2011, but it was extremely satisfying to win another Grand Slam title, reach two other major finals and finish the year at number one.”
Serena’s superior record in the year’s major events sees her crowned Women’s World Champion ahead of Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova. The 31-year-old captured Olympic singles gold for the first time, and won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open to take her total number of Grand Slam titles to 15. She went on to capture the year-end WTA Championships to finish the season with a tour-best seven titles and a 58-4 win-loss record.
“It means a lot to be named ITF World Champion for the third time," said Serena. "It has been such an amazing experience this year to win the Olympics and two Grand Slam tournaments, and I look forward to having an awesome 2013.”
The Bryans were named Men’s Doubles World Champions after a year in which they captured their first Olympic gold medal at Wimbledon, having won bronze in Beijing. The brothers equaled the all-time record for Grand Slam doubles titles by capturing their 12th title at the US Open, and were also runners-up at the Australian Open and Roland Garros. They won five more events in 2012 to stand at 82 career titles.