Rafa Nadal was crowned the ITF world champion for the fifth time in his career while top-ranked Iga Swiatek won the women’s award after a superb 2022 season, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said on Thursday.
World number two Nadal fought back from two sets down to defeat Daniil Medvedev in January’s Australian Open final to capture his 21st Grand Slam trophy, before sealing a record-extending 14th French Open title in June for his 22nd major.
The Spaniard joins his friend and recently-retired rival Roger Federer as a five-times ITF world champion behind Pete Sampras (6) and 2021 winner Novak Djokovic (7).
“I’m very happy to be named ITF World Champion for the fifth time,” the 36-year-old Nadal, who also bagged the award in 2008, 2010, 2017 and 2019, said in a statement.
“When I first won the award… I wouldn’t have expected to still be playing at such a high level 14 years later. It was special to win the Australian Open for a second time, and of course to win Roland Garros.
“I’m grateful for the support of my team and my fans around the world and I’m already looking forward to the 2023 season.”
Swiatek went on a 37-match winning run and won the French and U.S. Opens as well as titles at Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart, Rome and San Diego. She won 67 matches overall and topped the list of finals reached and trophies won.
The 21-year-old, who was also named WTA Player of the Year, said major awards in a “big year” showed how far she had come.