Sports

Roger Federer wins ATP’s Sportsmanship Award in partial season

Roger Federer wins ATP’s Sportsmanship Award in partial season

Roger Federer wins ATP's Sportsmanship Award in partial season 2016 images

Roger Federer, in a recent Twitter tweet, acknowledged that he has been “out of sight” lately. The comment is no doubt a reference to his ongoing knee rehabilitation, recovery efforts that have kept him out of competitive matches for a few months now. In the same November 10th tweet Federer stated that it was “nice to know” that he was “not out of mind,” a reference to the fact that the Swiss Maestro won the ATP’s Stefan Edberg Award, one that is awarded annually for sportsmanship on the ATP Tour.

Federer, who was actually coached by Stefan Edberg for a long time, is not even close to being a stranger to the award. The Swiss Maestro has won it every year but one since 2004. Rafael Nadal is the only other active player to have won the award, the Spaniard having won it in 2010. Otherwise, the most-recent non-Federer recipients of the award are long-retired players Paradorn Srichaphan and Patrick Rafter.

But if there was ever a year where Federer would not win the award 2016 seemed like a candidate. That doesn’t mean that his class act has changed, but he only played in 28 matches this “out of sight” season, a very low total for him. In awarding the award to Federer the players that voted for him made it clear that being a good sport is something that does not have to be demonstrated over the entire ATP campaign.

In looking back at the last 20 years there is no precedent for winning the sportsmanship award with so few matches played. For instance, when Federer has won it he has often played in 60+ matches. Rafter won the award in 2001 despite playing only 53 matches, a total that still nearly doubles the number that Federer played in for 2016. The player voters might be a little guilty here of letting Federer’s reputation precede their voting. I don’t think he deserved the award just based on his limited match total in 2016.

But the awards ceremony is history now, and Federer has what is his 12th sportsmanship award. Other players recognized for other awards actually had to labor the full season. Juan Martin del Potro won the Comeback Player of the Year Award following a season that included a title in Stockholm and a silver medal in Rio. Lucas Pouille received the Most Improved Player of the Year Award in no small part due to deep runs at both Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows. Marin Cilic won the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award for actions off the court.

The last award to be issued is one that couldn’t be handed out this week. The player of the year is not a nominated or voted on award. Rather the award is entirely rankings based, and it’s still up for grabs. Andy Murray, the current World No. 1, is likely to win the award. However, he still has some work to do in London next week in a race that is between him and Novak Djokovic.

Sports
@GrandSlambert77

Shane is a sports writer with a big interest in tennis, but he's also a noted writer about travel and fiction. Plus he can handle long walks in the cold Canadian tundra!

More in Sports

Novak Djokovic in Acapulco Draw, Could Face Rafael Nadal 2017 images

Novak Djokovic in Acapulco Draw, Could Face Rafael Nadal

Shane LambertFebruary 25, 2017
2017 nba trade deadline winners and losers images

2017 NBA Trade Deadline Winners and Losers

Chris MauriceFebruary 24, 2017
Angelique Kerber, Serena Williams to battle for No. 1 in March 2017 images

Angelique Kerber, Serena Williams to battle for No. 1 in March

Shane LambertFebruary 23, 2017
carmelo anthony looking safe with knicks as trade deadline hits 2017 images

Carmelo Anthony looking safe with Knicks as trade deadline hits

Chris MauriceFebruary 23, 2017
Top 5 Quarterbacks to watch in NFL 2017 images

Top 5 Quarterbacks to watch in NFL 2017

Shane MclendonFebruary 22, 2017
kevin garnett blames aau for killing nba 2017 images

Kevin Garnett blames AAU for killing NBA

Chris MauriceFebruary 22, 2017
kyrie irving seems unsure on earth is flat comment now 2017

Kyrie Irving now unsure on ‘earth is flat’ comment

Chris MauriceFebruary 21, 2017
Pelicans Acquire DeMarcus Cousins from Kings for a Bag of Chips and a Flat Coca Cola 2017 images

Pelicans Acquire DeMarcus Cousins from Kings for a Bag of Chips and a Flat Coca-Cola

Chris MauriceFebruary 21, 2017
Darrelle Revis Felonies 2017 images

Darrelle Revis Felonies

Shane MclendonFebruary 20, 2017

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

You will only receive one per day. You'll also get a free THE WALKING DEAD graphic novel with your subscription