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Esther Vergeer to be presented with ITF Philippe Chatrier Award at ITF World Champions Awards


Esther Vergeer to be presented with ITF Philippe Chatrier Award at ITF World Champions Awards

Dutch wheelchair tennis star joins illustrious list of recipients of global governing body’s highest award for services to tennis.
ITF World Champions Awards presented by UNIQLO to be hosted at London’s Natural History Museum on Sunday 7 July.
Ceremony will also honour ITF World Champions of 2023 including Novak Djokovic, Aryna Sabalenka, Alfie Hewett and Diede de Groot.
Esther Vergeer is this year’s winner of the prestigious ITF Philippe Chatrier Award, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced.


The Dutch wheelchair tennis star will receive the award at the 2024 ITF World Champions Awards presented by UNIQLO, which takes place at the Natural History Museum in London on Sunday 7 July.


Vergeer, a seven-time Paralympic gold medallist and 21-time Grand Slam wheelchair singles champion, is being given the global governing body’s highest award for services to the sport.

The ITF Philippe Chatrier Award, named after the former ITF President, was introduced in 1996 and is awarded to individuals or organisations that have made significant contributions to tennis both on and off the court.

Previous winners include Justine Henin, Stan Smith, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Rod Laver and Martina Navratilova.

Esther Vergeer said: “To be given this award is a huge honour, and I would like to offer my sincere thanks to the ITF for choosing me to receive it at their prestigious World Champions Awards event. Throughout my career as a player and since retirement, hard work, integrity and a passion to help others have always driven me to succeed. Tennis has given me so much and I will always work hard to make sure that everyone – regardless of age, gender, or disability – can enjoy its many benefits for years to come. The ITF has made a significant contribution to the continued growth of wheelchair tennis, so it is very special for me to receive this recognition from them.”

David Haggerty, ITF President said: “It gives me great pleasure to announce that the ITF Board of Directors has chosen Esther Vergeer as the winner of this year’s ITF Philippe Chatrier Award. She is recognised as one of the most exceptional athletes of her time, achieving an unparalleled seven Paralympic gold medals, 44 Grand Slam titles, and an extraordinary streak of 470 consecutive match victories. Esther’s dedication and contributions to the sport extend far beyond her playing days. Through her foundation, she has tirelessly supported young athletes with disabilities and championed inclusivity in sports. Her legacy is not only defined by her remarkable achievements but also by the ongoing inspiration she provides to athletes worldwide. Congratulations Esther.”

Esther Vergeer’s tennis journey began at eight after surgery left her paralysed. She chose wheelchair tennis over wheelchair basketball in 1997 and made her Paralympic debut at Sydney 2000, winning gold in singles and doubles. She went on to win seven Paralympic golds, including four consecutive singles gold medals from Sydney to London 2012.

Vergeer dominated what is now the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, securing 169 singles titles and 136 doubles titles over 17 years. She held the world No. 1 ranking from October 2000 to January 2013 and built a 470-match winning streak which lasted until her 2012 retirement. Her tournament victories included 21 Grand Slam singles, 23 Grand Slam doubles titles, and winning the year-end NEC Wheelchair Singles Masters 14 times.


Post-retirement, Vergeer advocates for wheelchair tennis through her foundation, established in 2004. She has been the Tournament Director of the wheelchair event at the ABM Amro ATP men’s tournament in Rotterdam since 2009 and introduced a women’s event there in 2023. Vergeer serves on the Dutch Paralympic delegation and the Dutch Sports Council and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2023.


As well as celebrating Esther Vergeer, the ITF World Champions Awards will honour the World Champions of 2023. The award winners are selected by the ITF based on objective criteria considering all results at the end of each year, recognising players who have made the biggest impact on the tennis world that season. Champions are selected in all disciplines across men’s, women’s, junior and wheelchair competition.


The singles champions are Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka; the doubles champions are Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, and Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens; the wheelchair champions are Diede de Groot, Alfie Hewett and Niels Vink; and the junior champions are Joao Fonseca and Alina Korneeva.


– ENDS –

For further press enquiries:

ITF Communications


Email: communications@itftennis.com

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