LONDON: Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams are the International Tennis Federation’s world champions for 2012.
Djokovic won the men’s award yesterday for the second straight year, while Williams took the honor for the third time in her career.
Djokovic won the Australian Open and was runner-up at the French Open and US Open. He finished the season No. 1 in the ATP rankings with six tour titles.
Williams won Wimbledon, the US Open and the Olympic gold medal. She had a tour-best 58-4 record and seven titles.
American twins Bob and Mike Bryan were named men’s doubles world champions for the ninth time in 10 years, while Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy took the women’s doubles award.
Filip Peliwo of Canada and Taylor Townsend of the US were named junior world champions.
Esther Vergeer of Netherlands won the women’s wheelchair tennis award for the 13th consecutive year. Stephane Houde of France was named the men’s winner.
Nadal to play in UAE
World No. 4 Rafa Nadal has confirmed he will return to competitive action at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi at the end of December after six months out with a knee injury.
The 11-times grand-slam singles champion has not competed since a shock defeat to Czech Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon in June.
The Spaniard was later diagnosed with a partial tear of the patella tendon and an inflammation in his left knee and was unable to defend his Olympic title at the London Games.
He also missed the US Open and the season-ending World Tour championships before returning to the practice court on Nov. 20.
“Can’t wait to get back on court in Abu Dhabi at the end of the month,” the 26-year-old wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday.
“I won the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in 2010 and 2011,” he added. “Would love to get my hands on the trophy again this year!” Nadal is due to play either world number three Andy Murray of Britain or ninth-seeded Serbian Janko Tipsarevic on Dec. 28 at the event in Abu Dhabi, which is not part of the ATP Tour.
World number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia, fifth-ranked Spaniard David Ferrer and No. 6 Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic are also taking part.
Nadal said this month he was hoping to be back to full fitness in time for the clay season, when he will be chasing an eighth French Open title on his favored surface after winning a record seventh Roland Garros crown in May.