ATP Awards: Federer is Fans’ Favourite for 18th straight year

Roger Federer named Fans' Favourite at the 2020 ATP Awards

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Roger Federer won the Fans' Favourite at the 2020 ATP Awards

One of the most popular athletes in the world, Roger Federer has been awarded the Fans’ Favourite player for the 18th year in a row at the 2020 ATP Awards.

Rafael Nadal, Vasek Pospisil, Andrey Rublev and Frances Tiafoe are among the winners in the Awards, which also celebrates Novak Djokovic and Mate Pavic/Bruno Soares as the year-end No. 1s.

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Rublev, 23, and his coach Fernando Vicente have both been recognised by their peers for a season in which the Russian claimed  a Tour-leading five titles and 41 match wins and reached a career-high World No. 8.

Vicente has been named Coach of the Year.

“Hey, it’s Roger here. I hope everybody is doing well in a difficult year. I just wanted to thank you all for winning the Fans’ Favorite Award this year again,” Federer said on receiving the award.

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“Thanks to ATP, to 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, making that possible and I hope I can play in front of all you guys very very soon and Happy Holidays to everybody.

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“Happy New Year and let’s hope it all gets better next year. I can’t wait to see you all again very soon. So take care, and again, thank you, thank you, so so much, I’ll see you soon.”

ATP year-end No. 1: Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic was handed the year-end No 1 trophy in London ahead of the ATP Finals

The Serbian finished World No. 1 for a record-equalling sixth time in the past 10 years (also 2011-12, 2014-15 and 2018) after a stellar season in which he picked up four tour-level titles.

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Djokovic won his first 26 matches of the season, claiming a historic eighth Australian Open crown and lifting trophies at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, the Western & Southern Open in New York and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.

He was also a runner-up at Roland Garros and reached the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals. At 33 years, 6 months, 16 days, Djokovic set a new record as the oldest year-end No. 1 in the history of the FedEx ATP Rankings, overtaking Rafael Nadal’s 2019 record (33 years, 5 months, 23 days).

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Djokovic also drew level with his childhood hero, American Pete Sampras, who ended six straight years at the pinnacle of men’s professional tennis from 1993 through 1998.

ATP year-end Doubles No. 1: Mate Pavic & Bruno Soares

The Croatian/Brazilian duo of Pavic and Soares surged to the year-end No. 1 FedEx ATP Doubles Team Ranking after strong results in the second half of the season.

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While both players have previously reached the top of the doubles game, Pavic in 2018 with Oliver Marach and Soares in 2016 with Jamie Murray, it was their first year-end No. 1 finish as a team.

Pavic, 27, and Soares, 38, teamed to capture their first Grand Slam trophy together in September at the US Open. They went on to reach two big finals in Paris at Roland Garros and the Rolex Paris Masters.

Comeback Player of the Year: Vasek Pospisil

Former World No. 25 Pospisil was sidelined for much of 2019 after undergoing back surgery to repair a herniated disk, and started the year ranked outside the Top 100.

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But the Canadian cut his ATP Ranking by more than half after a statement comeback season, jumping 89 spots to sit at No. 61. He made the biggest jump in the year-end Top 100 from 2019.

Pospisil, 30, reached his first ATP Tour final since 2014 at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier, and backed it up with a run to the Sofia Open final – the second and third ATP Tour finals of his career.

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Pospisil also reached the fourth round of the US Open, defeating back-to-back Top 20 players – Roberto Bautista Agut (No. 11) and countryman Milos Raonic (No. 18) – along the way to his best Grand Slam result since his 2015 Wimbledon quarter-final.

Kevin Anderson, Andrey Kuznetsov and Raonic were also nominated in this category.

Most Improved Player of the Year: Andrey Rublev

Andrey Rublev won his fifth title of the season in Vienna

Andrey Rublev: 23-year-old Rublev rose from No. 23 to a career high No. 8 in the FedEx ATP Rankings after a red-hot season saw him win five titles – more than anyone else on Tour.

The Russian exploded onto the courts at the start of the year by winning back-to-back titles at the Adelaide International and the Qatar Open in Doha, becoming the first player since Dominik Hrbaty in 2004 to start the year with titles in the first two weeks of the season.

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He continued to impress in the second half of the season reaching quarter-finals at the US Open and Roland Garros, and added three ATP 500 trophies to his cabinet with victories at the Hamburg European Open, St. Petersburg Open and Erste Bank Open (Vienna).

Rublev capped it off with his debut appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals and finished with a 41-10 win-loss record on the year, equalling Novak Djokovic (41-5) with the most match wins on Tour in 2020. Ugo Humbert, Diego Schwartzman and Jannik Sinner were also nominated in this category.

Newcomer of the Year: Carlos Alcaraz

Spain’s Alcaraz finished 2019 at No. 491 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. In 2020, he moved 350 spots to close the season at No. 141 after reaching a career-high ranking of No. 136, winning a trio of ATP Challenger Tour titles to mark his rapid rise.

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The 17-year-old, who was the youngest of four teenagers in the year-end Top 200, claimed his first ATP main draw victory in emphatic fashion, outlasting No. 41 Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round of the Rio Open.

Alcaraz made his Challenger breakthrough when he lifted the trophy in Trieste, but the best was yet to come as he arrived on home soil. The Spaniard lifted back-to-back Challenger trophies in Barcelona and Alicante – the latter sealed with his second Top 100 victory of the year in the final.

Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award: Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Fellow players chose World No. 2 Nadal as the winner of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for a third straight year and fourth time overall, recognising the Spaniard for his fair play, professionalism and integrity on and off the court.

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Nadal also received this honour in 2010. John Millman, Diego Schwartzman and Dominic Thiem were also nominated in this category.

Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award: Frances Tiafoe

Rising American star Tiafoe made a big impact off the court during a turbulent 2020 season, using his platform to the fullest during the ATP Tour’s five-month suspension.

Tiafoe, who supports Thanks USA and the USTA’s National Junior Tennis and Learning Network (NJTL), auctioned off signed memorabilia to Athletes for COVID-19 Relief, with the funds benefiting the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

Fans’ Favourite Award (Singles): Roger Federer

The 39-year-old Swiss was selected by fans as Fans’ Favourite for a record 18th straight year, taking his record haul of ATP Awards to 39.

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Currently ranked World No. 5, Federer reached the 2020 Australian Open semi-finals in his first tournament of the season, but was sidelined in the subsequent months after undergoing right knee surgery.

Fans’ Favourite Award: Jamie Murray & Neal Skupski

The all-British duo won their first Fans’ Favourite award. Murray, 34, and Skupski, 31, teamed in 2019 and finished this season with their first title together at the Sofia Open. The pair also reached two finals at the Western & Southern Open in New York and Erste Bank Open in Vienna.

Coach of the Year: Fernando Vicente

Andrey Rublev’s coach guided the 23-year-old Russian to an ATP Tour-leading five titles from five final appearances and 41 match victories, as well as a career-high No. 8 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.

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“I would give him an ‘outstanding’ on the season,” Vicente told ATPTour.com. The former Spanish player helped lead Rublev to his first ATP 500 titles at the Hamburg European Open, St. Petersburg Open and Erste Bank Open (Vienna), in addition to winning in Adelaide and Doha.

Vicente was selected as the winner from a shortlist that included Gilles Cervara (Daniil Medvedev), Juan Ignacio Chela (Diego Schwartzman), Nicolas Massu (Dominic Thiem) and Riccardo Piatti (Jannik Sinner).

Tim Gullikson Career Coach Award: Bob Brett

The 67-year-old Australian, who formerly worked with Grand Slam champions such as Boris Becker, Goran Ivanisevic, Marin Cilic and Johan Kriek in a 46-year coaching career, was unanimously chosen as the second winner of this award.

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The recipient exemplifies excellence, leadership, respect, and a true love for the sport of tennis and the art of coaching. Named after the late Tim Gullikson, the award showcases someone who has inspired generations of young players and fellow coaches to grow the sport of tennis.

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