Federer cleans up year-end ATP awards, Shapovalov most improved

Death, taxes, and Roger Federer winning the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award…. Those are the three certainties of life.

Federer won the ATP Tour’s sportsmanship award for the 13th time and he also picked two other end-of-year honors when they were announced earlier this week. The Swiss will be presented with three trophies in total at the upcoming Nitto ATP World Tour Finals in London: one for sportsmanship, another as the Fans’ Favorite, and the third for being named Comeback Player of the Year.

“I had a good year on and off the court,” Federer reflected. “I tried to represent the game in the best possible way, but I am by far not the only guy. There are so many guys who carry themselves so, so well on and off the courts; same as Fans’ Favorite, there are so many guys who are super popular. So in a way I feel like I could share these trophies with everybody.”

The world No. 2 has not shared much wealth on the court, either, in 2017. He owns a 49-4 record with two Grand Slam titles (Australian Open and Wimbledon) plus additional victories in Indian Wells, Miami, Halle, Shanghai, and Basel. Federer will end the year second in the rankings behind only Rafael Nadal after finishing 2016 at No. 16.

“The Comeback Player of the Year obviously is very special because it has felt like a big massive comeback for me after missing 7-8 months of the (2016) season, even if this one I feel I share a lot with the other players,” the 36-year-old explained. “Everyone who had a comeback has worked extremely hard, is happy to be back and healthy. Rafa also ranks supreme to me because not only did he come back, but he finished the year world No. 1. So there’s an asterisk for me. I’m happy to get it, but I feel like also other players deserve it.”

There was actually one award that Federer did not win. The Most Improved Player honor went to Denis Shapovalov, who has climbed from No. 250 in the world to 51st this season. Shapovalov, an 18-year-old Canadian, earned 11 of his 13 career ATP-level match wins in 2017–which included a semifinal run at the Montreal Masters and a fourth-round performance at the U.S. Open as a qualifier.

Bob and Mike Bryan, meanwhile, were named the Fans’ Favorite in doubles for the 13th time in their careers. Horia Tecau, another doubles specialist, was named the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year.

3 Comments on Federer cleans up year-end ATP awards, Shapovalov most improved

    • Don’t think they will unless they too win a slam. Fed is/was the obvious choice, winning two slams, not unlike Rafa in 2013. If Fed didn’t win any, Rafa might be the one to get it, he too came back from injury break to win two slams.

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