Dutch wheelchair tennis standout Esther Vergeer awarded ITF Philippe Chatrier Award

LONDON (AP) — Dutch wheelchair tennis standout Esther Vergeer has been awarded this year's ITF Philippe Chatrier Award for her contributions to the sport.

The International Tennis Federation said the award will be presented Sunday at a ceremony at London's Natural History Museum.

The Philippe Chatrier Award is named after the ITF's former president and has been given out since 1996 as the governing body's highest award for services to tennis.

Vergeer has won a total of seven Paralympic gold medals and 21 Grand Slam wheelchair singles titles.

(asterisk)Tennis has given me so much and I will always work hard to make sure that everyone – regardless of age, gender, or disability – can enjoy its many benefits for years to come," Vergeer said in a statement. "The ITF has made a significant contribution to the continued growth of wheelchair tennis, so it is very special for me to receive this recognition from them.”

Previous winners of the ITF Philippe Chatrier Award include Justine Henin, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Rod Laver and Martina Navratilova.

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