It’s the first time in 19 years that the women’s and men’s world champions represent the same country. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced that Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have been confirmed as ITF 2017 World Champions. This is the third recognition for Nadal, while it is the first opportunity for Muguruza.
Nadal and Muguruza as world champions
It is the first time in 19 years that the women’s and men’s world champions represent the same country. The last time it happened was when Americans Pete Sampras and Lindsay Davenport made it in 1998.
Nadal becomes the longest-serving player to become the ITF World Champion after a great return in 2017. In which he reached the final of the Australian Open being number 9 in the world ranking, he achieved the record of being the first player in the Open Era in winning the same Grand Slam in 10 opportunities with his consecration in Roland Garros and obtained his third crown of the US Open. In addition, he won six titles and closed the year as number 1 of the ATP.
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“I am very happy to receive this award,” Nadal said in a statement. “It’s been four years since my last time as number 1 at the end of the year of the ATP ranking and this adds an extra emotion. Congratulations also to Garbine on his achievement, which is very important for our country. Thank you very much to my team, my supporters and special thanks to my uncle Toni for all these years.
Muguruza, on the other hand, is the second Spanish to achieve the WTA number 1 after Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. Her rise to the top of women’s tennis in September came after her grand appearance in 2016 and her first Wimbledon title in 2017, where she barely gave up a set throughout the tournament.
He showed his great level also in Cincinnati, where he defeated in the final his closest rival in 2017, Simona Halep, to win the title. “Being the ITF world champion in such a competitive year is extraordinary and is even more special because Rafa also achieved it on the men’s side. He is a great model to follow for all of us, that’s why it’s a great moment for world tennis.”