Tennis: Federer, Nadal wins end-of-season ATP awards

Switzerland's Roger Federer (R) hugs Spain's Rafael Nadal (L) during their tennis match at The Match in Africa at the Cape Town Stadium, in Cape Town on February 7, 2020. Image credit: Getty Images

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For an 18th straight season, Roger Federer has been voted the Fans’ Favourite in the ATP Awards. Rafael Nadal won the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award. Comeback Player of the Year is Vasek Pospisil. Most Improved Player of the Year went to Andrey Rublev. Frances Tiafoe won the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award.

By Michael Hincks

Roger Federer has won the ATP’s Fans’ Favourite Award for the 18th straight year, while Rafael Nadal picked up the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for the fourth time in the end-of-season awards.

Despite not playing on the Tour since the Australian Open in January, Federer’s status as the favourite among supporters was once more recognised in the award voted for by tennis fans.

The 39-year-old is hopeful of returning from injury in time for next year’s Australian Open in February, and the Swiss said he is “training hard to make that possible”.

He said in a message on ATP’s Twitter: “Hey, it’s Roger here. I hope you are all doing really well in a difficult year; I want to thank you all for winning the Fans’ Favourite award this year again. Thanks to the ATP, all the tennis fans out there for voting for me, believing in me and wanting to see me back on the Tour.

“I’m training hard to make that possible. I hope I can play in front of all of you guys again very soon. Happy holiday and a happy New Year, and let’s hope it all gets better next year. Just have to be a little bit patient for now, and I can’t wait to see you all again soon.”

Nadal won the ATP’s sportsmanship award for a third straight year, and fourth time overall, with the prize recognising his “ fair play, professionalism and integrity on and off the court”.

The Spaniard said he wants to be remembered as a “good person” as well as a “good tennis player”. The award comes after he levelled Federer on 20 Grand Slams when winning the French Open.

“It means a lot for me to have this trophy one more time, the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award. I’m going to put this trophy next to the other ones in a very special place here,” said Nadal.

Thank you very much to all my colleagues on Tour for thinking that I am the right one to receive this sportsmanship award. When someone asks me how I want to be remembered, I always answer, ‘I want to be remembered [as] a good person more than a good tennis player.’ That’s why this trophy means a lot. Other awards saw ATP players name Vasek Pospisil their Comeback Player of the Year is, while the Most Improved Player of the Year went to Andrey Rublev.

Rublev’s coach Fernando Vicente won Coach of the Year, and Carlos Alcaraz won the Newcomer of the Year.

Novak Djokovic ended the season as the ATP world No 1 in singles, while Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares were the year-end Doubles No.1 team.

“It’s an honour to be part of a historic group… Hopefully we can spread awareness around the world for many, many years.”

Tiafoe wins humanitarian award Rackets Down, Hands Up – Tennis stars join Frances Tiafoe in protest video Frances Tiafoe was recognised for his social activity off the court when winning the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award “for using his platform to the fullest in 2020”.

The American auctioned off signed memorabilia to Athletes for COVID-19 Relief and posted a video, Rackets Down, Hands Up, which united the black tennis community in the wake of George Floyd’s killing.

He said: “It’s an honour to be part of a historic group… Hopefully we can spread awareness around the world for many, many years.”

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