Serena Williams and Andy Murray named 2012 ITWA Ambassadors of the year
Andy Murray and Serena Williams have been presented with the International Tennis Writers Association’s top awards. The 25-year-old Scot and the 31-year-old American were voted ITWA’s Ambassadors of the Year for 2012 and received their trophies at the Australian Open.
ITWA (www.itwa.org) represents more than 100 of the world’s leading tennis journalists. Its awards recognise not only achievements on the court but also conduct off it, including co-operating with the media.
Murray won his first Grand Slam title at last year’s US Open and also won gold and silver medals at the Olympics in the singles and mixed doubles events respectively. Williams won the singles titles at Wimbledon, the US Open, the Olympics and the end-of-season WTA Championships. She also won the doubles titles at Wimbledon and the Olympics in partnership with her sister Venus.
Sebastian Fest, co-president of ITWA, said: “Andy Murray and Serena Williams are great champions, but they are also very good ambassadors for their sport. Both understand that their high standing in tennis involves major media commitments and we appreciate their co-operation with all areas of the media.”
||Top: Serena Williams is presented with her Ambassador of the Year award for 2012 by Sebastian Fest, one of ITWA’s co-presidents, and also gives him a big hug.
Left: Andy Murray is presented with his Ambassador of the Year award for 2012 by Paul Newman, one of ITWA’s co-presidents.
Photos by ITPA.
2013 CO-PRESIDENTS' MESSAGE
It is only 13 years since the International Tennis Writers’ Association was formed, but what changes we have seen. Twitter had not been invented in 2000, while blogging and making videos were not considered part of the job for most journalists. The very idea of any of our work appearing online was alien to many of us.
New technology has subsequently opened up new outlets for our work, but in many cases our lives as journalists have not become any better or easier. The worldwide economic crisis has meant that many media companies are employing fewer journalists, at a time when technology has provided many more ways of reaching out to their customers.
While we welcome the chance to communicate with more readers, listeners and viewers, the increased workload can mean that it is harder to do our job properly. More time spent working in front of a screen means less time to seek out the stories we want to deliver.
Many media organisations have become more reluctant to send tennis journalists to events. Instead the reporters are required to write about the sport from their home or their office. This is not the way to produce good journalism.
In such a climate it is more important than ever to have a good working environment at tournaments. Last year we introduced awards for the most “media-friendly” events (the winners were the Australian Open and Indian Wells). We hope this will encourage all tournaments to look at their media facilities and procedures.
ITWA exists to improve the working environment of our members and we have been pleased to play a part in changes on the circuit. We have made tournaments aware of the need to accredit more internet-based journalists and have persuaded some to give more opportunities to journalists to do on-camera work.
The changing landscape of journalism means that we also have to look at our own organisation. Some within ITWA are concerned about the fact that some of our members work for tournaments or governing bodies. This is an issue which the ITWA board believes members must discuss this year.
Our constitution also says that we should try to keep our membership below 100, but our numbers keep growing. Because our members enjoy certain privileges, some tournaments have expressed concern about our numbers. Nevertheless, we continue to monitor our membership carefully. We hope that any members who were upset by our request at the end of last year for details of the tournaments they cover will understand the importance of ITWA representing only those who cover the sport on a regular basis.
Remember to keep in touch via our website (ITWA.org) and follow your fellow members on Twitter (@tenniswriters). Our website also features a Twitter feed from ITWA members. To join this feed, contact our administrative secretary, Sophie Boussenac, on
We look forward to working alongside you all in 2013.
Sebastian Fest and Paul Newman
AUSTRALIAN OPEN, BNP PARIBAS OPEN AT INDIAN WELLS HONOURED
28 August 2012 - The Australian Open and the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells have been honoured in a poll of the world’s leading tennis journalists. Members of the International Tennis Writers Association (ITWA), which represents more than 120 journalists from around the world, have voted the two events as the most “media-friendly” tournaments on the international circuit.
ITWA members were asked to vote for one Grand Slam tournament and one non-Grand Slam event. There were votes for all four Grand Slams and for 16 non-Grand Slams, but Melbourne and Indian Wells were the clear winners.
Craig Tiley, the Tournament Director of the Australian Open, and DeeDee Felich,
Assistant Tournament Director of the BNP
Paribas Open, accept their awards.
The awards were presented to Craig Tiley, the Tournament Director of the Australian Open, and DeeDee Felich, Assistant Tournament Director of the BNP Paribas Open, at a reception in New York hosted by ITWA and sponsored by Credit Suisse. Brad Drewett, the Executive President and Chairman of the Association of Tennis Professionals, was among the guests at the reception.
Sebastian Fest, one of ITWA’s co-presidents, said: “Many awards are presented to players, including our own Ambassador of the Year awards, but we wanted to honour those tournaments that provide the best working environment for journalists. The Australian Open and Indian Wells are very worthy winners. Both recognise the importance of working together with the media for the benefit of everyone within tennis. We are also very grateful to Credit Suisse for their support.”
2012 CO-PRESIDENTS' MESSAGE
One of the beauties of sport is that you can never predict the future with certainty. How many would have guessed at the start of 2011 that Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova would be the players of the year? As the 2012 season begins, the only certainty we can have is that we are living in one of the greatest eras in tennis history.
If the sport is thriving, however, our own industry is facing major challenges. With many parts of the world trying to find a way out of economic crisis, the media business in those countries is also struggling to keep its head above water. Many of the companies whose advertising and sponsorship are crucial to the media’s finances are in difficulty, while the most important people in our professional lives – our readers, viewers and listeners – are also feeling the squeeze.
Many media organisations are employing fewer journalists than they used to and sending them to fewer places. Most of us are working harder than ever before. In such circumstances, we need to demonstrate regularly to our employers the value of sending us to cover events around the world. That is where we believe our organisation can help. The International Tennis Writers’ Association exists in order to improve the working environment of our members and thereby enhance what we can offer to those who enjoy our work.
As technology advances, so our job changes, with more and more newspaper journalists asked to add new media, video and radio to their workload. Last year ITWA played a key role in trying to persuade tournaments that they, too, should adapt to these changes and allow journalists to work with cameras and microphones as well as laptops.
You will also see changes in our membership. As well as newcomers, one or two familiar faces are missing. Our constitution says that we should try to keep our membership below 100. This is important, in that tournaments can be assured that the privileges available to ITWA members are given only to those journalists who cover the sport on a regular basis. To any members who may have been offended by our request at the end of last year to give details of the tournaments they cover, we hope you will understand that it is in all our interests for our organisation to remain one which includes only those who continue to cover the sport on a regular basis. We still have 121 members, though that is one fewer than last year.
Remember to keep in touch via our website (ITWA.org), where you will also find a feed of tweets from ITWA members. To join this feed, email our administrative secretary, Sophie Boussenac, at
. We look forward to working alongside you all in 2012.
Sebastian Fest and Paul Newman
International Tennis Photographers Association
Novak Djokovic receives his award award as one of the International Tennis Writers Association’s Ambassadors of the Year from Paul Newman, one of ITWA's co-presidents, at the Dubai Duty Free Championships.
International Tennis Photographers Association
Caroline Wozniacki receives her award as the International Tennis Writers Association’s Ambassador of the Year from (left to right) the ITWA board members Paul Newman, Linda Pearce and Sebastian Fest.
WOZNIACKI, DJOKOVIC NAMED
2011 ITWA AMBASSADORS OF THE YEAR
Novak Djokovic and Caroline Wozniacki have two more trophies to add to their 2011 collection after winning the International Tennis Writers Association’s top awards. The Serb and the Dane have been voted ITWA’s Ambassadors of the Year. It is the first time they have won the awards.
The awards recognise a combination of achievements on the court, conduct that shows tennis in the best possible light and co-operation with the media.
Djokovic enjoyed one of the greatest seasons in tennis history, winning three Grand Slam tournaments and seven other titles. He won 41 matches in succession at the start of the year and replaced Rafael Nadal as world No 1.
Wozniacki finished the year as world No 1 for the second season in succession. She won six titles during the year and won 63 matches on the WTA tour, more than any other player.
Sebastian Fest, co-president of ITWA, said: “Novak Djokovic and Caroline Wozniacki both had excellent years on the court, but they have also been great ambassadors for tennis. Because of their success there are big media demands on their time and both have handled this with great professionalism. They set a very good example to their fellow players.”
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Photos courtesy of the International Tennis Photographers Association.