Sanchez Honored with Davis Cup Award of Excellence

December 6, 2011

NEWPORT, R.I. — The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) are pleased to announce that Emilio Sanchez of Spain is the recipient of the 2011 Davis Cup Award of Excellence. ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti and 1984 Hall of Famer Manolo Santana, a previous recipient of the Davis Cup Award of Excellence, presented the award to Sanchez this past weekend in Seville, Spain. The award presentation took place during the 2011 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final, in which Spain defeated Argentina — a re-match reminiscent of 2008, when Sanchez captained the Spanish team to victory.

“Emilio Sanchez was a great contributor to the Davis Cup for nearly two decades, as a player, captain, and dedicated supporter of the event,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. “In recognition of his achievements and in appreciation for his contributions to the sport and to Davis Cup, we are proud to present him with the Davis Cup Award of Excellence.”


ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti, Emilio Sanchez, Manolo Santana

A member of one of Spain’s most prominent tennis families, Sanchez competed in Davis Cup for his nation 12 times between 1984 and 1996, compiling a 32-23 record. In 2005, he took on the role of captain, and in 2008, he led the Spanish team to the Davis Cup title, defeating Argentina. In addition to his Davis Cup involvement, Sanchez was part of the Spanish teams that won the Hopman Cup in 1990 and the World Team Cup in 1992. With Sergio Casal, he won the men’s doubles silver medal at the 1988 Olympic Games.

Each year since 2001, the ITF and the Hall of Fame have presented the Davis Cup Award of Excellence to a person who represents the ideals and spirit of the Davis Cup competition. The award was developed to recognize the importance of Davis Cup by honoring individuals who best represent the ideals of the competition’s founder, Dwight Davis. It is presented annually to a member of a past or present Davis Cup team, who is from the country/region where the Final is being held.

In addition to being a great contributor to Spain’s Davis Cup efforts, Sanchez was one of the nation’s most celebrated players, winning three Grand Slam doubles titles. In 1988, he won the men’s doubles titles at both the French Open (with Andres Gomez) and the US Open (with Sergio Casal), and in 1990, he won the French Open title again (with Casal). Sanchez also won two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles in 1987, at the French Open (with Pam Shriver) and the US Open (with Martina Navratilova). He captured a remarkable 50 doubles titles during his career and was ranked world No. 1 in doubles. In addition, he has 15 singles titles to his name, and was ranked world No. 7.

The Davis Cup Award of Excellence was introduced in 2001 by the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the ITF. Past recipients are Slobodan Zivojinovic of Serbia in 2010; Manuel Orantes (2012 Hall of Fame Nominee) of Spain in 2009; Guillermo Vilas (1991 Hall of Famer) of Argentina in 2008; Stan Smith (1987 Hall of Famer) of the United States in 2007; Alex Metreveli of Russia in 2006; Miloslav Mecir of Slovak Republic and Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia in 2005; Manolo Santana (1984 Hall of Famer) of Spain in 2004; John Newcombe (1986 Hall of Famer) of Australia in 2003; Pierre Darmon of France in 2002; and Neale Fraser (1984 Hall of Famer) of Australia in 2001.