The USTA has announced that former American tennis player and pioneer of the women’s professional game Rosie Casals has been honored with the 2017 United States Tennis Association’s President’s Award. Casals was honored at the USTA Semi-Annual Meeting earlier this month in New York City.
Born and raised in San Francisco, Casals is the daughter of parents who immigrated to the United States from El Salvador. By age 16, Casals became a top junior player in Northern California, and at age 17 she was ranked No. 11 in the United States.
Casals rose to No. 3 in the world in singles in 1970, and throughout her more than two-decade career, she won 12 major doubles and mixed doubles championships, played for the US Open singles title in 1970 and 1971, amassed 595 wins in singles and 508 in doubles, and was ranked among the world’s Top 10 players in 12 seasons.
Casals and Billie Jean King forged a partnership at the Berkeley Tennis Club in 1964. From 1966 to 1975, Casals and King won seven major doubles titles and were finalists seven other times. At Wimbledon, Casals and King won five championships (1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1973). In singles, Casals was a French Open finalist in 1968, 1970 and 1982, and she advanced to the Australian Open final in 1971. Casals and King are the only doubles team in history to win the U.S. Championships/US Open on all three surfaces.
Casals is currently involved with the NJTL Coachella Valley and coaches American junior Taylor Johnson.
“Rosie has been a motivating force behind the positive changes and progress in women’s tennis,” said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “Her love for tennis reaches beyond the courts and translates into her continuous efforts fighting for rights of professional and women players. Rosie’s legacy and advocacy will never stop inspiring today’s youth to become the next great generation of American tennis players.”
The President’s Award honors an individual who has given unusual and extraordinary service to the sport of tennis in the public’s interest. Since its inception in 1999, award recipients have included Billie Jean King, Lindsay Davenport, Mary Joe Fernandez, Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan, former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, and United States Army veteran and tennis photographer Benjamin Woods.