The ATP World Tour Awards is becoming an annual clean sweep for Roger now, because he keeps taking the important awards every year. He was named player of the year for the fifth time after finishing on top for the rankings yet again. Then he was voted by his peers as sportsman of the year for the sixth consecutive year, surpassing Stefan Edberg who held the record. And then he was voted by us, the ones that took the time to follow the link in my previous post, as the fans favourite for the seventh straight year. Amazing! Does this guy ever stop winning awards and breaking records? Not for a long time to come I think.
As far as the player of the year award goes, we are all aware of his achievements last year. After a devastating loss to his arch rival Rafa in the Oz Open final, he came back in the style of a true champion to win the French Open and complete the career grand slam. Then he went on to do the French Open/Wimbledon double for the first time, breaking Pete Sampras’ record 14 grand slam titles in the process. He also made all 4 grand slam finals for a third time in his career, becoming the first man to ever do so. Then he became only the second player in history to reclaim the year end number one sport after losing it to Rafa in 2008. The only other player who could accomplish this feat was Ivan Lendl. With two grand slam titles, two grand slam finals, and two Masters Series titles, Roger was once again the most dominant player in the world in 2009.
Being voted sportsman of the year for a record sixth consecutive year by his fellow players, is another testament to the fair player and popular person that Roger is. It’s no coincidence that Stefan Edberg, the player who the award was named after, was Roger’s favourite player growing up. Like Edberg, Roger is a true gentleman, and as the number one player he is the best possible ambassador for the sport. It says a lot of a tennis player to be this popular, because tennis is an individual sport and your fellow players are your enemies, as much as they are your friends.
Last but not least, us fans have once again voted Roger as the most popular player on tour. With Rafa and Djokovic second and third on the list, this must also mean that Roger has the most fans world wide. And it isn’t close either, as Roger took more than half of the votes! But then again, we knew that already. You just have to look at Roger’s Facebook profile or official website to see how many fans he has. On Facebook alone Roger have 3.5 million fans. I don’t think any player in the history of the sport had more fans, and deservedly so.
The only other award that Roger could perhaps have picked up was the Arthur Ashe humanitarian award, which Malavai Washington picked up. Roger is of course a big humanitarian, but I don’t think he got much time for his foundation last year with everything that was going on, on and off court. He did say that he will be dedicating more time to his foundation from now on, as was evidenced by his recent visit to Ethiopia.
On another note, I created a quiz today about all Roger’s phenomenal records. Do you think you know them well? Well what are you waiting for!