The International Tennis Federation (ITF) on Friday named Spaniards Rafael Nadal and Garbiñe Muguruza as this year's ITF World Champions. While this is the third ITF World Championship for Nadal, it is the first for Muguruza. It is also the first time since 1998 that the men's and women's ITF world champions hail from the same country, reports Efe.
"It is four years since I last finished No. 1 on the ATP rankings and this has a special feeling. Congrats also to Garbiñe on her achievement which is great for our country," Nadal said in remarks published by the ITF's website.
Muguruza is the second Spanish tennis player to achieve the WTA no. 1 after Arantxa Sánchez Vicario.
"He (Nadal) is a great role model for all of us, so it is a great moment for tennis in Spain. I knew that putting in the hard work would pay off eventually and it made winning Wimbledon and achieving the No. 1 ranking so special," said Muguruza.
The other ITF World Championships went to Polish player Lukasz Kubot and Brazil's Marcelo Melo in men's doubles, and to Chan Yun-Jan of Taiwan and the recently-retired Martina Hingis of Switzerland in women's doubles.
Argentina's Axel Geller and US Whitney Osuigwe were picked as junior champions, while David Wagner of the US, Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina and Japan's Yui Kamiji were chosen as the best in the wheelchair category.
The winners will receive their awards at the 2018 ITF World Champions Dinner on June 5, in Paris, during the Roland Garros championship. Eight of the 11 players will receive the award for the first time, with a record three winners from South America in the same season.
In 1998 Americans Pete Sampras and Lindsay Davenport were the last male and female from the same country to win the coveted men's singles and women's singles ITF world championships.
(With IANS Inputs)