In a special ceremony at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) honored Vittorio Selmi by presentation of the 2016 Golden Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding service to tennis. The award was presented by International Tennis Hall of Fame President Stan Smith and Francesco Ricci Bitti, immediate past president of the ITF and a countryman and longtime colleague of Selmi’s.
The Golden Achievement Award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions internationally to tennis in the fields of administration, promotion, or education, and who has devoted long and outstanding service to the sport.
“Vittorio has been one of the great ambassadors of our sport for as long as I can remember. He always welcomed players to the ATP events with great hospitality and enthusiasm. His passion for the game and his desire to serve the sport and to see it succeed at all levels is tremendous. We are glad to be able to thank him and to honor his 40-plus years of service to tennis with the Golden Achievement Award,” commented Smith.
Selmi has been a staple of the international tennis community since the mid-1970s. He is admired by players and colleagues alike for his enthusiasm for the sport and his commitment to growing and promoting tennis worldwide.
Selmi’s tennis industry career started in 1974 when he was the Player Relations Manager at the Italian Open Championships and Director of Italian Satellite Circuits, positions he held until 1978. In 1975, Selmi took on the role of Manager of the Associations of Professionals of Tennis in Italy. In 1979, he joined the Federezione Italiana Tennis (FIT), where he held several leadership roles until 2010. In his work for the federation, Selmi oversaw the rules and regulations in the national tennis circuit and managed player rankings, among other roles. Selmi embarked on a career with the ATP World Tour in 1979, serving as Tour Director for the ATP International Circuit until 2006. He continued to stay involved in the tour through 2010, working in player relations. In addition to his work with players and associations, Selmi has served as writer for Match-Ball, the Italian tennis magazine.
“Vittorio is richly deserving of this award,” said ITF President Dave Haggerty. “He has been a wonderful ambassador for tennis for over 40 years and earns a rightful place among the other illustrious recipients of this award since it was first presented in 1999.”
Ricci Bitti, a longtime colleague of Selmi’s said, “Vittorio has been a great friend to our sport for so many years. He has been a thoughtful, committed leader across so many areas of the game – events, player relations, media, and more. His contributions to the sport far exceed what may have technically been his job description, as he is one of those special people who was always willing to go the extra mile in his work for the betterment of tennis. On behalf Vitto’s many friends in the sport around the world, we are grateful for his many years of service and are so pleased that he is being recognized for his great contributions to the game with this honor.”
The Golden Achievement Award is selected from a pool of nominations submitted by tennis federations and individuals from the around the world. The annual honoree is selected by the Golden Achievement Award Committee, which is comprised of tennis administrators.
Mark Stenning of the United States (2015); David Jude of Great Britain (2014); Geoff Pollard of Australia (2013); Shamil Tarpischev of Russia (2012); Tim Phillips of the United Kingdom (2011); Heinz Grimm of Switzerland (2010); Peachy Kellmeyer of the United States (2009); Juan Maria Tintore of Spain (2008); Nancy P. Jeffett of the United States (2007); James R. Cochrane of Great Britain (2006); Eiichi Kawatei of Japan (2005); John Curry of Great Britain (2004); J. Howard “Bumpy” Frazer of the United States (2003); Enrique Morea of Argentina (2002); Pablo Llorens Renaga of Spain (2001); Gil de Kermadec of France (2000) and Brian Tobin of Australia (1999).