Woodies first doubles team to receive ITF’s highest honour
Originally published on 22/05/14
The Australian duo will be presented with the award at the 2014 ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday, June 3 in Paris.
Named after the former ITF president, the Philippe Chatrier Award was introduced in 1996 and is awarded each year for outstanding contributions to the game of tennis. Previous winners include Rod Laver, Margaret Court, Billie Jean King, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova and the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
“It is such an honour to receive the Philippe Chatrier Award, named after a true pioneer of world tennis,” said Woodforde, who won 11 Grand Slam men’s doubles titles and a total of 61 tournaments with Woodbridge. “I’m moved so deeply that Todd and I will be joining such grand champions and following in the footsteps of the other Aussies to receive this accolade.
"To be the first doubles team honoured not only highlights the success of the Woodies on court but also recognises our continual involvement with this cherished sport via our international media duties as well as our coaching and player development roles back home in Australia.”
The Woodies’ greatest success came at Wimbledon where they are the only men’s team in the Open era to win five straight titles (1993-97), and hold the Open era record of six championships. They also won Olympic gold at Atlanta 1996 and compiled a 14-2 record together in the Davis Cup, scoring the vital point that helped Australia defeat France for the title in 1999.
They completed their career Grand Slam by winning the French Open in 2000 and by Woodforde’s retirement later that year they had a 508-137 win-loss record.
Woodbridge added: "This is such an honour and totally unexpected. I still get enormous joy out of tennis and being able to give back from my experiences is a pleasure in both coaching and broadcasting."
Following their retirement, the Woodies have both enjoyed roles as coaches, commentators, administrators and mentors.
“They continue their commitments to tennis in a variety of capacities and are being honoured for their outstanding – and ongoing – contributions to the game,” said ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti. “Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde were unbeatable in their prime, in a nine-year span winning 11 Grand Slam titles, Olympic gold and silver medals, and helping Australia to Davis Cup glory.”