wITH 2017 PRESIDENT'S AWARD
E.J. Crawford | September 15, 2017
In her decorated career, Rosie Casals was a two-time US Open singles finalist, a 12-time Grand Slam doubles winner and a champion for equal prize money and for “open” tennis, the model adopted in 1968 that changed the game forever.
For those accomplishments, and for all that she has done since her playing career ended, Casals was named the 2017 recipient of the USTA President’s Award. She was honored with the award at the Semi-Annual Meeting held earlier this month in New York in conjunction with the US Open.
“Rosie has been a motivating force behind the positive changes and progress in women’s tennis,” said USTA President Katrina Adams. “Her love for tennis reaches beyond the courts and translates into her continuous efforts fighting for rights of professional and women players. Rosie’s legacy and advocacy will never stop inspiring today’s youth to become the next great generation of American tennis players. ADVERTISEMENT ”
Born and raised in San Francisco, Casals is the daughter of parents who emigrated from El Salvador. A top junior in Northern California, Casals broke through internationally at Wimbledon 1966, where she reached the round of 16. The following year she reached the semifinals at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and she surged as the Open era dawned in 1968, reaching the quarterfinals or better at all four Grand Slam events in 1969 and making the first of her two consecutive US Open finals in 1970.
But it was in doubles that Casals really shined. She won nine Grand Slam women’s doubles titles in all, including seven with longtime partner Billie Jean King, in addition to three Grand Slam mixed doubles crowns. Casals won 112 tour doubles titles in the Open era, second-most in women’s tennis history to Martina Navratilova.
Casals (pictured here with Kim Clijsters at the 2011 BNP Paribas Open) was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1996. She is currently involved with the NJTL Coachella Valley and coaches American junior Taylor Johnson.
The President’s Award honors an individual who has given unusual and extraordinary service to the sport of tennis in the public’s interest. Past recipients include King, Lindsay Davenport, Mary Joe Fernandez, Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan, former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, and United States Army veteran and tennis photographer Benjamin Woods.