World tennis honours Goolagong Cawley

Ben McKay
Evonne Goolagong Cawley is to receive tennis' Philippe Chatrier Award

Evonne Goolagong Cawley's extraordinary career and advocacy has been honoured by the International Tennis Federation.

The ITF has announced it will bestow its greatest accolade, the Philippe Chatrier Award, on the Australian champion at a gala event next month.

Goolagong Cawley won the French Open and Wimbledon in 1971 while still a teenager, going on to become the world No.1 and total seven grand slam crowns.

The award - which counts Billie Jean King, John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova among past winners - also honours the post-career work of the individual.

Since moving back from the United States in 1991, Goolagong Cawley has worked with Tennis Australia to increase female and indigenous participation in the sport.

The popular 66-year-old has worked for more than 20 years has as an ambassador, advocate and role model for young Indigenous Australians, including through the Goolagong National Development Camp.

ITF president David Haggerty said the honour was for Goolagong Cawley's "exceptional achievements as a player and the lasting legacy she has left for so many people".

"Not only is she a legendary seven-time Grand Slam singles winner but she is also a champion of diversity, who has worked tirelessly in her home country to improve the lives of many through the sport we all love," he said in a statement.

Goolagong Cawley is the sixth Australian to win the medal.

Rod Laver (1998), Margaret Court (2006), Neale Fraser (2008) and doubles powerhouse Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde (2014) are previous recipients.