Rafael Nadal broke Roger’s 6-year streak, winning the peer-decided Stefan Edberg Sportmanship Award for the first time in this year’s ATP World Tour Awards.
Roger Federer won’t be crying foul – tears of joy, maybe – as he retains the Fan Favorite Award for a record eighth consecutive year. According to the ATP website, Fed received 47% percent of all votes, followed by Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The Byrans won in doubles.
In other awards:
Rafael Nadal won the ATP World Tour No. 1 honors (determined by the rankings) and the Bryan Brothers won the ATP World Tour No. 1 Doubles Team award for the record sixth time in an eight year period.
The ATP players voted 23-year-old Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan as the Most Improved Player of 2010. He rose from 133 in 2009 to a career high ranking of 33 in October. He won his first title in Hamburg, made it to the finals in Malaysia and beat top guns David Ferrer, Nikolay Davydenko, Robin Soderling and Jurgen Melzer (who kind of deserves his own Most Improved Award, himself.)
German Tobias Kamke was voted Newcomer of the Year and Dutchman Robin Haase Comeback Player of the Year by their ATP peers.
The Indo-Pak Express a.k.a. Rohan Bopanna and Aisam Ul-Haq Qureshi won the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award for their inspirational “Stop War, Start Tennis” message.
For more on the awards visit the ATP’s website.
In another popularity contest, the Art of Tennis “self portraits” created by the Elite Eight are now up for online bidding. (Proceeds go to chairty.) Rafael Nadal is in the lead, his painting already up to $14,100. Roger Federer trails slightly at $12,100. World No. 3 Novak Djokovic is a bargain at $2,550. Click here for more.
To continue with the Art of Tennis theme, Sport Illustrated writer Jon Wertheim recently named Rafael Nadal as his “Sportsman” of 2010 (via si.com):
For the better part of the past decade, tennis fans have been treated to Federer’s graceful, stylish tennis. If Federer is Monet, all light and delicacy, Nadal is Jackson Pollock, all force and power, all toil and trouble.
Love this part:
That’s something else about Nadal. While his results border on ostentatious, his personality remains defiantly humble. Trying to inflame his rivalry with Federer is a fool’s errand. “Roger is better [than I am]. Anyone who knows tennis knows that.” (Imagine for a moment, say, LeBron James openly conceding the superiority of Kobe Bryant.) You’d be hard-pressed to find a top-tier athlete who signs more autographs, poses for more photos, makes fewer false moves.
Check out more of Wertheim’s piece here.
Any thoughts on these year end honors?