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Former USTA President Haggerty elected president of ITF

September 25, 2015 02:34 PM

By E.J. Crawford, USTA.com

For David Haggerty, serving tennis has been a lifetime goal – and now, once again, an enduring reality.

The former USTA president and current immediate past president has been elected as president of the International Tennis Federation in a vote held at the ITF Annual General Meeting in Santiago, Chile. The 58-year-old New Jersey resident succeeds Italian Francesco Ricci Bitti, who has served as ITF president since 1999.

Haggerty’s term as president runs four years, from 2015 to 2019. He is the fourth American since the establishment of the post in 1938 to serve as ITF president, and the first to do so since Walter Elcock, himself a former USTA president who served as the head of tennis’ world governing body from 1974 to 1975. 

“It is a privilege and an honor to be elected president of the ITF," said Haggerty (above left, with Riccit Bitti). "Tennis is the common language that binds all our member nations. It is important that we continue to listen to each other and work together to keep the ITF strong.”

Haggerty was elected on the second ballot, with 200 votes to 192 votes for India’s Anil Khanna. Switzerland’s Rene Stammbach and Spain’s Juan Margets were eliminated on the first ballot. Khanna, Stammbach and current USTA President Katrina Adams were named ITF vice presidents during the Annual General Meeting.

"The USTA congratulates Dave Haggerty on being elected ITF president," Adams said. "His long history in the sport makes him perfectly suited to drive tennis to new heights around the world. With his passion for the sport coupled with a creative and strategic mind, we know he will be a tremendous success in this role."

Haggerty, as Adams noted, is well known in tennis circles, serving in the tennis industry for 30 years. He rose to become president of Head/Penn Racquet Sports and eventually chairman of Head USA, a position he held upon his retirement in 2010.

In a volunteer capacity, Haggerty served for six years on the board of directors of the USTA Middle States Section and held a two-year term as president of the Tennis Industry Association. He joined the USTA board of directors in 2007 and ascended to vice president and first vice president before becoming the chairman, CEO and president in 2013. In addition, Haggerty served as vice president on the ITF board of directors from 2013 to 2015.

The ITF has 2010 member states. As the world governing body of tennis, the organization is responsible for the rules of the sport and oversees the Davis Cup and Fed Cup competitions, as well as hundreds of ITF Pro Circuit and ITF Junior Circuit events. It also manages the Olympic tennis event on behalf of the International Olympic Committee and the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme on behalf of the sport.