Australian doubles legends Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde have teamed up once more to be recognised for their outstanding tennis achievements. The Woodies won the Philippe Chatrier award for services to the game during a gala dinner event at this year’s French Open.
The award is the International Tennis Federation’s highest accolade, with the pair becoming the first doubles team to be bestowed the honour. The “Woodies” as they are affectionately known in our sporting folklore join fellow Aussie recipients Rod Laver, Margaret Court and Neale Fraser as winners of the award which was first introduced in 1996.
“It was a bit of a surprise,” Woodbridge said. “What I do in tennis, I do it because I know it and I love it and it’s part of my whole life. It’s really nice to be honoured for the efforts that we’ve put back in — in broadcasting, in coaching, in promoting our sport.
“We’ve both done it differently. It hasn’t been a joint effort like we were as a doubles partnership, but we’ve equally done a lot in our respective areas.”
Woodforde echoed his former partner’s sentiments saying; “It is such an honour to receive the Philippe Chatrier Award.”
The Woodies have one of the best doubles records in the history of the game and experienced a decade of phenomenal success from 1990 to 2000, during which time they won 11 Grand Slam titles and a total of 61 tournaments.
They had particular success on the fabled Wimbledon surface, where they won the Men’s doubles title in five consecutive years and six times overall.
Woodbridge and Woodforde also claimed the French Open, 2 US Opens and 2 Australian Opens. They won a Gold and Silver medal at the Olympics and were part of the Australian team that won the Davis Cup in 1999. They finished their partnership with a 508-137 career record.
The Woodies have already been inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame back in 2010, their latest recognition no doubt elevates them to the status as one of the best doubles pairing the world has ever seen.