(December 21, 2015) The ITF announced that Mary Pierce (FRA) and Mark Woodforde (AUS) have been appointed by the ITF Board to four-year terms as athlete members of the ITF Board of Directors, subject to ratification by the ITF Annual General Meeting in June 2016. Pierce and Woodforde will join the other 13 Board members alongside President David Haggerty.
The ITF AGM in Santiago, Chile last year approved this change to the ITF Constitution mandating athlete representation on the ITF Board. The AGM agreed that two former players (one man and one woman) would be appointed by the Board for four-year terms to help the ITF have a better understanding of the players and their importance to tennis.
ITF President David Haggerty said: “After an intensive process where we talked with many talented athletes, I am pleased to announce that the ITF Board of Directors has appointed Mary Pierce and Mark Woodforde for four-year terms. They are the first athlete members of the ITF Board and will provide good insight into the needs of the players and help us to grow the game of tennis around the world. Their perspective and collaboration is very important to the ITF as we work to keep tennis strong and vibrant. Both Mary and Mark will also lead the ITF’s Athlete Commission and will be members of the ITF Olympic Committee.”
Mary Pierce, aged 40, was ranked as high as No. 3 on the WTA rankings, won two Grand Slam singles titles at the 1995 Australian Open and 2000 Roland Garros, and reached the final at the 2005 US Open. She reached the quarterfinals at the 2004 Olympic Tennis Event in Athens, and represented her country in Fed Cup by BNP Paribas in 22 ties over ten years, playing on two winning teams in 1997 and 2003. Since her retirement from tennis in 2006, she has worked as a coach and commentator, helped junior players in Africa, sponsors two ITF Pro Circuit tournaments in Mauritius, and participated in the ITF’s Worldwide Coaches Conference.
Pierce said: “I am very proud and honoured to join the ITF Board. I am convinced that their role in the tennis world is crucial, and I will do my best to bring as much as I can to their action. Thank you so much for welcoming me.”
Mark Woodforde, aged 50, was ranked as high as No. 19 in singles and No. 1 in doubles on the ATP rankings. He won twelve Grand Slam doubles titles, eleven with long term partner Todd Woodbridge and one with John McEnroe, and was also a singles semifinalist at the 1996 Australian Open. Partnering Woodbridge, he won the gold medal in doubles at the 1996 Olympic Tennis Event in Atlanta and a silver medal at the 2000 Olympic Tennis Event in Sydney. He represented Australia 24 times over ten years in Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, played in three Finals and was part of the 1999 winning team. With Woodbridge, he holds the record for the best Davis Cup doubles team in Australia’s history. The Woodies were inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame in 2010 and received the Philippe Chatrier Award, the ITF’s highest honour in 2014. Since retiring from tennis in 2000, he has worked as a coach, tournament director and commentator.
Woodforde said: “It’s exciting to be appointed to the ITF Board of Directors. “Some of the proudest accomplishments of my career came when I played for my country in Davis Cup and the Olympic Games and was able to see at first hand the work of the ITF. My life continues to be centred around tennis as a commentator and coach. I think that this gives me both insight and perspective on the views of the players that I can share with the Board as we work together to grow tennis around the world.”