PARIS, June 8, 2017 (ITF Press Release)
Spanish duo Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez were presented with the ITF’s highest accolade, the Philippe Chatrier Award, at the 2017 ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday in Paris at the Pavillon Cambon Capucines.
The World Champions Dinner celebrates the achievements of the 2016 ITF World Champions. This year’s recipients are singles champions Andy Murray (GBR) and Angelique Kerber (GER); doubles champions Jamie Murray (GBR) and Bruno Soares (BRA), and Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic (FRA); junior champions Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) and Anastasia Potapova (RUS); and wheelchair champions Gordon Reid (GBR) and Jiske Griffioen (NED). The world champion nations of Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, Argentina and Czech Republic, have also been honoured.
Australian announcer Craig Willis hosted the evening, with ITF President David Haggerty presenting the awards to the World Champions, and the distinctive trophies once again being designed by internationally-recognised sculptor Laurence Broderick.
Casal and Sanchez receives the Philippe Chatrier Award for their services to the game as players and coaches. They first teamed up in 1984, when Casal, then 21, formed a doubles pair with the 19-yearold Sanchez at the suggestion of their mutual coach William Alvarez. So began an outstanding partnership that lasted 12 years on court and has continued for 20 years off court.
Casal and Sanchez were one of the leading doubles teams of their era, winning 44 tournaments together including two Grand Slam titles, and won the silver medal at Seoul 1988 as tennis made its full return to the Olympics. They finished among the Top 10 doubles teams for 10 out of 11 years from 1985 to 1995, achieving the year-end No. 1 team ranking in 1987.
In 1998, the pair opened the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona. Their idea was to provide a complete education, with a school on the same site as the courts, so that students could train and study at the same time. They were also keen to make sure that, whether the children in their care made it as professional tennis players or not, they became good citizens in whatever they did in life.
Casal and Sanchez’s coaching model has flourished, with a second academy opening in Florida in 2012 and, last year, a third in Nanjing, China. Their approach and the academy’s unique training system has produced many elite players, including world No. 1 Andy Murray, two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, Grigor Dimitrov, Daniel Hantuchova and Juan Monaco.
ITF President David Haggerty said: “We are delighted to present Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez with the Philippe Chatrier Award for their contributions to tennis as a successful doubles team and in the field of coaching. Their on-court achievements paved the way for further Spanish success, and in founding a successful coaching academy, they have shaped the careers of several prominent players and the lives of many more.”