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Casal-Sanchez, Founders of Naples Tennis Academy, Receive ITF Honor

From left: Emilio Sanchez and Sergio Casal

The former No. 1 doubles pair and founders of tennis academies in Naples, Fla., and around the world Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez, received the Philippe Chatrier Award for their services to the game of tennis as players and coaches.

The award was presented on June 6 during the French Open in Paris.

The Philippe Chatrier Award, named after the former ITF president, was introduced in 1996 and is awarded each year for outstanding contributions to tennis. Billie Jean King, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, the All England Club, and 2016 award winner and wheelchair tennis pioneer Brad Parks are among the former recipients.

Casal and Sanchez first teamed up in 1984, when Casal, then 21, formed a doubles pair with the 19-year-old Sanchez at the suggestion of their mutual coach William Alvarez. So began a partnership that resulted in 44 doubles titles, including the 1988 US Open and the 1990 French Open. They were also Wimbledon finalists in 1987, and earned silver for Spain at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. In singles Sachez reached No. 7 and Casal No. 31 on the ATP rankings.

They retired in 1997 and the following year opened the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona. They opened the Naples, Fla., academy in 2012, and last year an academy in Nanjing, China. Over the years the academy earned credit for training Andy Murray, the current world No. 1, along with Svetlana Kuznetsova, Grigor Dimitrov, Daniel Hantuchova, Juan Monaco and more.

“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,” said ITF President David Haggerty.

To read more go to www.itftennis.com/news/261985.aspx.

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