Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Tommy Haas win big at ATP World Tour Awards
The winners of the annual ATP World Tour Awards were announced today and it’s no surprise that Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and the Bryan Brothers are each taking home a couple of awards. Full round up of nominees and winners below!
World No. 1′s
This honor is based solely on year-end rankings and the 25-year-old Serb has done his part to make it his second consecutive year at the top. Coming into London, Novak Djokovicis not only 2000 points above any of his compatriots, but he also won the Australian Open in January and backed it up with two more Slam finals’ appearances at Roland Garros and the U.S. Open. His match record for the year is 70-11 and it’s the third time in four years that he’s had at least 70 wins — that’s no easy feat!
Likewise, the American duo of Mike and Bob Bryan snatched the Doubles No. 1 for a fourth successive year and record eighth time overall. They captured seven titles for the season, including a record-equalling 12th Slam trophy at the U.S. Open.
ATPWorldTour.com Fan’s Favorite
It’s hardly a competition anymore as Roger Federer stands king in this category for a record 10th straight year! Tennis couldn’t have asked for a more capable, kinder, and charming guy to bring millions of fans to the sport. The Bryan Brothers also snag this award on the doubles side for a record eighth time.
Most Improved Player of the Year (voted by fellow ATP Players)
The player who reached a significantly higher ranking by year’s end and who demonstrated an increasingly improved level of performance through the year.
Any of the four nominees in this category would have reason to win, but it was 27-year-old Bosnian-born Australian Marinko Matosevic who took home the goods. Jumping from a ranking of 203 to 58, he was easily the biggest climber of the group. He currently sits at No. 49, so I can only imagine his good results will continue.
He beat out Juan Monaco, who jumped from a ranking of 26 to 10, Jeremy Chardy who went from 103 to 31, and Go Soeda who battled up from 120 to 55. Looking forward to see what kind of damage these players can do in 2013!
Newcomer of the Year (voted by fellow ATP Players)
The player who, based on his ranking move in 2012, has made the biggest impact on the ATP World Tour.
This year was filled with some breakout stars on the courts, and 23-year-old Slovak Martin Klizan is certainly a worthy winner. He jumped from a ranking of 117 to 34, and currently sits at 29. Having played mostly Challengers in the first half of the year, he announced himself to the world when reached the 4th round of the U.S. Open en route defeating world No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. He backed up his strong performance there by winning his first title in St. Petersburg just two weeks later.
He beat out David Goffin whose ranking rose from 174 to 46, Andrey Kuznetsov who went from being ranked 222 to 72, and this past week’s surprise Paris Masters’ finalist Jerzy Janowicz who went from a ranking of 221 to 80, and now sits at a comfortable 26. I have a feeling that if the awards had occurred after Paris, he might have been the likely winner. Interesting how one tournament can make all the difference to players grinding it out on the tennis court week-after-week waiting for their breakthrough…
Comeback Player of the Year (voted by fellow ATP Players)
The player who has overcome serious injury in re-establishing himself as one of the top players on the ATP World Tour.
Each year, without fail, oft-forgotten about stars are re-born on the ATP circuit after successful return from potentially career-ending injury. And there were plenty of these stories this year. From Brian Baker‘s tremendous year from starting on the Futures tour and making his quick climb up to playing the Slams, to Sam Querrey‘s battle back after injury to be within striking distance of the top 20, to Paul-Henri Mathieu‘s firm hold on the top 65 after starting the year unranked, there is clearly a story behind every comeback.
But according to friend and supporter Roger Federer, none was as great as the return of Tommy Haas– and the players seem to agree. After starting the year outside of the top 200, he’s found himself also within reach of the top 20. At 34-years-old, many wouldn’t have blamed him for calling it a career after last season and his flurry of nagging injuries. But not Tommy. He stepped it up, gained his confidence, slimmed up, and even found himself winning the Halle title by defeating Roger Federer in the final. Well done.
The Rest …
A handle of other awards was also given out, including:
- the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award to Roger Federer for a record eighth time. He beat out Marin Cilic, Juan Martin del Potro and David Ferrer.
- the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award to Novak Djokovic for his contributions through the Novak Djokovic Foundation, his role as a UNICEF ambassador and other individual ventures.
- the Ron Bookman Media Excellence Award and the ATP Tournaments of the Year will be announced later this week.
Make sure to catch all of the action this week at the ATP World Tour Finals in London. Draw, daily schedule and news here.