The winners of the year-ending ATP Awards have been announced, with both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal winning big. While Roger Federer has been voted the Fans' Favorite player for a staggering 18th year in a row, Rafael Nadal has won the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for the fourth time in his career.
The ATP Fans Favorite Award began in 2000, with Gustavo Kuerten winning the inaugural title. Russia’s Marat Safin won the prize for the following two years, but since then Roger Federer has maintained an absolute stranglehold on the award.
The Fans Favorite Award is decided by fans all around the globe casting their vote. Everyone is permitted to vote once for their favorite player, with the entire polling process lasting about two weeks.
Even though Roger Federer was out of action for almost the entirety of 2020 due to a knee injury, the 39-year-old was still the biggest draw on the tour. Federer boasts arguably the biggest fanbase ever seen in the history of the sport, and this year's voting reflected that again.
The Swiss legend was understandably thankful at winning the prize, and asserted that he was doing everything in his power to get back on the court.
"I hope that everybody is doing really well in a difficult year," Roger Federer said. "I just wanted to thank you all for making me win the Fans Favorite award again this year. And thank you to the ATP and all the tennis fans out there voting for me, believing in me and wanting to see me back on the tour. I'm training hard to make that possible."
Rafael Nadal ensures the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship award continues to be monopolized by him and Roger Federer
Roger Federer’s good friend and arch-rival Rafael Nadal continued their joint hegemony over the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship award. The Spaniard has now won the prize three years in a row, and fourth time overall.
The sportsmanship award is decided by the ATP Tour players themselves. They vote for the one player they think has been the most professional and has maintained perfect sportsmanlike conduct throughout the year.
Dominic Thiem, John Millman and Diego Schwartzman were the other nominees this year, but they failed to stop Nadal from claiming the prize. After being conferred the coveted honor, the Spaniard claimed he'd rather be remembered as a good person than as a tennis champion.
"It means a lot for me, to have this trophy for me again one more time - the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award," Rafael Nadal said. "I gonna put this one next to the others. For me this is a very important trophy, I can say thank you very much to all my colleagues on the tour for thinking that I am the right one to receive the Sportsmanship Award. I want to be remembered like a good person more than a tennis player so that's why this trophy means a lot."
With his victory, Rafael Nadal has ensured that the sportsmanship award has been split between him and Roger Federer for 17 years in a row. The last time neither of them won this award was way back in 2003, when Paradorn Srichaphan won the honor.
A list of all the winners can be found here. Vasek Pospisil, Andrey Rublev, Frances Tiafoe and Carlos Alcaraz have all managed to get their hands on prizes too.
Interestingly, Dominic Thiem and his coach Nicolas Massu missed out on the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award and Coach of the Year Award, respectively. Thiem lost out to Rafael Nadal while Massu was out-voted in favor of Andrey Rublev’s coach Fernando Vicente.Published 21 Dec 2020, 23:53 IST