Tennis: World number one Simona Halep has become the first recipient of the Chris Evert Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) World No.1 Trophy, named after WTA’s first-ever world number one, Chris Evert.
The 27-year-old, who lifted her maiden Grand Slam title at the Roland Garros and claimed the WTA Year-End world number one singles award for the second consecutive year, said that she is delighted to become the first receiver of the trophy.
“I’m very happy to be the first player to hold the Chris Evert WTA World No.1 Trophy. Chris is one of the greatest players of all time and I think it’s great that she is being honoured this way,” WTA quoted Halep, as saying.
With a total of 157 titles, including 18 Grand Slam titles, Evert held the top spot for 260 weeks.
Reflecting on her name carved on the trophy, 63-year-old Evert said, “I’m honoured and privileged to have my name on this trophy.”
When quizzed about what makes her universally admired, Evert said that for her, it was important to be a good sport on the court and a good role model for kids.
“It was very important for me to be a good sport. Be a good sport on the court, be a good role model for kids and be appreciative of being in this life, not always thinking: ‘What will people give me?’ but: ‘What can I give to others?'” she said.
Evert also lauded the influence of Billie Jean King for pushing the women’s game forward and bringing infrastructure and organisation right in place.
“We’ve lived a privileged life by being a woman’s tennis players. We’re proud that we’re the No.1 women’s sport in the world. I always say if Billie Jean was a golfer – then it would be No.1. That’s why our sport was elevated,” she added.
The Chris Evert WTA World No.1 Trophy has a silver star-map tennis ball that represents the tennis universe. All-time world number ones are illustrated by a diamond in the sky, which signifies each champion’s mark in the sport.
The finish of the “star-map” tennis ball is hand stippled with thousands of tiny dots, representing all female players that have played the sport.