‘Golden Racket’ presented to Kodes and Santangelo
Jan Kodes and Mara Santangelo received the ‘Golden Racket’, a prestigious award which is presented annually at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia to a male and female great of the game, on Sunday at the Foro Italico.
Czech tennis player Kodes, who won Roland Garros in 1970 and 1971 and Wimbledon in 1973, was a three-time Italian Open finalist, finishing as runner-up in Rome in 1970-1972. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1990.
Santangelo was the first Italian woman to win a Grand Slam doubles title when she triumphed at 2007 Roland Garros with Alicia Molik and lifted the trophy at the Foro Italico with Nathalie Dechy the same year. A member of the Italian Fed Cup team, she defeated Kirsten Flipkens to win her singles match and force a decisive fifth rubber in the 2006 final, which Italy went on to win.
The two former players were presented with the award by Nicola Pietrangeli in special on court ceremonies.
Former winners of the ‘Golden Racket’
2006 Maria Esther Bueno and Tony Roche
2007 Margaret Court Smith and Ilie Nastase
2008 Gabriela Sabatini and Manolo Santana
2009 Conchita Martinez and Tom Okker
2010 Arantxa Sanchez and Andres Gimeno
2011 Ken Rosewall and Monica Seles
2012 Mary Pierce and Yannick Noah
2013 Boris Becker
2014 John Newcombe
2015 Michael Chang and Martina Hingis
2016 Stan Smith and Mima Jausovec
2017 Rod Laver and Flavia Pennetta
2018 Jan Kodes and Mara Santangelo