Osuigwe, Wagner named
ITF World Champions
Erin Maher | December 8, 2017
The ITF announced its 2017 ITF World Champions on Friday, a listed that included two Americans: one veteran and one newcomer.
American wheelchair tennis legend David Wagner and 15-year-old Whitney Osuigwe, the world's No. 1 -ranked junior, were among the 11 named as end-of year winners by the ITF.
Wagner is the inaugural ITF Quad Wheelchair World Champion, receiving this accolade after an impressive year on court. The world No. 1 ended his year top ranked for the eighth time in his career. The 43-year-old swept the singles and doubles at the US Open Wheelchair Competition in September, and he also won the Wheelchair Masters singles and the Wheelchair Doubles Masters with partner Nick Taylor.
“It is a real honor to be the first quad player to be recognized by the ITF at the World Champions Dinner,” Wagner told itftennis.com. ADVERTISEMENT “This award is very special to me, and is much bigger than just me. It is an award that I will always cherish and will always remember the players who came before me.”
Osuigwe becomes ITF Junior World Champion after ascending from world No. 95 to the No. 1 spot. She did so by claiming her first major junior title at the French Open, and she helped Team USA capture the Junior Fed Cup, where she won all eight of her matches in singles and doubles.
The Floridian has won a total of five singles and three doubles titles on the ITF Junior Circuit in 2017. She is still in action at this week’s Orange Bowl in Florida.
“It’s hard to put in words what exactly it means to have finished No. 1 this year and become Junior World Champion,” Osuigwe said. “This is very surprising, and I could not be any happier. But I’d also like to think this is the result of the all hard work my team and I have gone through in the last year. I’m excited for what’s to come, and I hope we can keep up with the good results.”
Wagner, Osuigwe and the other recipients – which include men's ITF World Champion Rafael Nadal and women's World Champion Garbiñe Muguruza – will receive their awards at the 2018 ITF World Champions Dinner on June 5, 2018, during the 2018 French Open.