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Nadal, Muguruza Are ITF World Champions

Spain stands singularly supreme among ITF World Champions.

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and Spanish Olympic teammate Garbine Muguruza have been named the 2017 International Tennis Federation World Champions.

More: Serena Speeding In Comeback

Nadal receives the honor for the third time, while it is the first year Muguruza has been recognized.

This is the first time since Americans Pete Sampras and Lindsay Davenport in 1998 that the men’s and women’s ITF World Champions are from the same country.

Nadal becomes the oldest ITF Men's World Champion at the age of 31 after a stunning comeback year in which he won a record tenth Roland Garros title and a third US Open crown. He was also a finalist at the Australian Open. 

The Spanish left-hander claimed six titles in 2017 and sealed the year-end No. 1 ranking at the Paris Masters, becoming the oldest player to do so since the inception of the ATP rankings in 1973.

“I am very happy to receive this award from the ITF and be the 2017 ITF World Champion," Nadal said. "It is four years since I last finished No. 1 on the ATP rankings and this has a special feeling. Congrats also to Garbine on her achievement which is great for our country. Many thanks to my team and my fans, and a special thank you to my uncle Toni for all these years.”

Muguruza is the second Spanish woman to be named ITF Women's World Champion after Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in 1994. She followed her breakthrough year in 2016 by capturing her first Wimbledon title, dropping just one set along the way.


#tbthursday September 🐍

A post shared by Garbiñe Muguruza (@garbimuguruza) on

Muguruza took her form to Cincinnati, defeating her closest rival in 2017, Simona Halep, in the final, and went on to achieve the No. 1 ranking in September, finishing the year at No. 2.

“Becoming ITF World Champion in such a competitive year is amazing for me and is even more special because Rafa has also been awarded on the men's side," Muguruza said. "He 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. I’m motivated to take everything I’ve learned this year and apply it to my work next season.”

In their first seasons together, Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Marcelo Melo of Brazil, and Chan Yun-Jan of Chinese Taipei and the recently-retired Martina Hingis of Switzerland are named Doubles World Champions.

David Wagner of USA becomes the inaugural ITF Quad Wheelchair World Champion; while Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina is named Men’s Wheelchair World Champion for the first time; and Japan’s Yui Kamiji earns her second Women's Wheelchair World Champion honour.

Axel Geller of Argentina and Whitney Osuigwe of USA are named ITF Junior World Champions.

Photo credit: Mutua Madrid Open