AUSTRALIAN OPEN, ATP WORLD TOUR MASTERS 1000 AT INDIAN WELLS RECEIVE HONORS
The Australian Open and the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 at Indian Wells have again been voted the most media-friendly tournaments in the sport by the world’s leading tennis journalists.
The two tournaments received their awards from the International Tennis Writers’ Association (ITWA) at a reception in New York sponsored by the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum. The Australian Open was voted Media-Friendly Grand Slam Tournament of the Year, while the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells won the award for all other tournaments. It was the third year in a row that the two tournaments have won the awards.
The award winners and ITWA board members at the New York presentations (left to right): Paul Newman (ITWA), Alix Ramsay (ITWA), Matt Van Tuinen (BNP Paribas Open), Dee Dee Felich (BNP Paribas Open), Prue Ryan (Australian Open), Nick Imison (ITF), Sandy Harwitt (ITWA) and Sebastian Fest (ITWA).
Votes for the awards were cast by the 120 members of ITWA, which represents the world’s leading journalists. Sebastian Fest, co-president of ITWA, said that the Australian Open and BNP Paribas Open were worthy winners.
“Our members voted for a wide range of tournaments, but in the end there were two clear winners,” Fest said. “Both tournaments clearly appreciate the value of good relations with the media and work hard to enable our members to do their jobs.”
Nick Imison, from the International Tennis Federation’s Communications Department, was presented with the Bud Collins Award, which is given annually to an individual within the sport who has been of particular help to the media. Bud Collins is a founder member of ITWA and one of the sport’s best-known journalists.
Paul Newman, ITWA’s other co-president, said: “Nick Imison knows tennis inside out and is always helpful. A Grand Slam tournament in particular would just not be the same without him around as he does a brilliant job organising player press conferences and interviews.”
Li Na is presented the 2013 ITWA Ambassador of
the Year Award from ITWA Board Member Simon Cambers.
Mike and Bob Bryan receive the 2013 ITWA Ambassadors of the Year Award from ITWA Co-Presidents Paul Newman (left) and Sebastian Fest.
LI NA, BRYAN BROTHERS HAVE WON THE ITWA’s AMBASSADORS OF THE YEAR AWARD
Melbourne (11 January 2014) – Li Na and the Bryan brothers have two more trophies to add to their 2013 collection after winning the International Tennis Writers Association’s top awards. The women’s world No 4 and the men’s top doubles team 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. ITWA (www.itwa.org) represents the world’s leading tennis journalists.
Li, who became the first Asian player to win a Grand Slam singles title when she won the 2011 French Open, enjoyed another successful year in 2013. She has been a pioneer for tennis in China, which has been one of the sport’s major growth areas.
Bob and Mike Bryan enjoyed one of their most successful years in 2013, winning three Grand Slam titles and dominating the doubles scene like never before
Paul Newman, co-president of ITWA, said: “Li Na and the Bryan brothers 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.”
2014 CO-PRESIDENTS' MESSAGE
We like to think that the International Tennis Writers’ Association is an outward-looking body, concerned about the major issues in reporting on our sport. However, we feel it was good that in 2013 we resolved something that has been a long-standing matter of debate within our own organisation: should people who work for governing bodies or tournaments remain as ITWA members?
In an increasingly difficult economic climate many of us have had to look for sources of income other than from traditional employers. Nevertheless, there had been a growing feeling among our membership that we had to draw the line somewhere. Could our members retain their independence and integrity if they were directly employed by a governing body, by one of the tours or by a tournament?
After long discussions, we came to a conclusion at our annual general meeting in Paris that appeared to satisfy everybody. We agreed that we would not admit as future members any journalists who are employed by governing bodies or tournaments. However, this did not apply to existing members. We also specified that there was no problem with members contributing articles to those organisations’ programmes or websites.
If resolving this issue was a positive development in 2013, we regard the introduction of mixed zones by the ATP as a negative move. The ITWA Board and many individual members have made it clear for a long time now that we oppose the replacement of press conferences by mixed zones. While mixed zones are not without their advantages – for agency reporters, for example, or for anyone up against deadline – we believe that press conferences are a much better forum in which to have a more meaningful conversation with players.
The ATP, it must be stressed, introduced mixed zones knowing that ITWA opposed them. The Board will continue to press ITWA’s case on this and we urge all members to make their own feelings clear on this matter.
In the meantime, we wish all our members a prosperous 2014. 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, contact our administrative secretary, Sophie Boussenac, on
Sebastian Fest and Paul Newman
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Photos courtesy of the International Tennis Photographers Association.