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James Blake and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Among 2008 ATP World Tour Award Winners

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Roger Federer continues to shine as the fairest and most popular player on the ATP World Tour after the 2008 ATP World Tour Awards were announced in Miami today. Fellow players voted Federer the winner of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for a record fifth consecutive year. Only Edberg himself won the award five times (over eight years). And in a poll of fans, Federer for the sixth consecutive year was voted ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favourite.

Of his dual honours, Federer said: “It is great to receive two more awards. It is always important for me to be a good sportsman on the court and give the right example for others to follow and hopefully inspire the next generation. It also means the world to me to be the fans’ favourite player for the sixth year in a row. The support I receive from the fans around the world is so motivating and it is humbling to receive this award once again."

ATP World Tour Champion Rafael Nadal and ATP World Tour Doubles Team Champions Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic were announced as the Player of the Year and Doubles Team of the Year respectively.

James Blake won the prestigious Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year award for his many charitable efforts, including several fundraising initiatives for cancer research.

Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Of The Year

James Blake: In the summer of 2008, James Blake announced the creation of the Thomas Blake Sr. Memorial Research Fund at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, with the goal of raising $1 million for cancer research within 12 months. Important fundraising initiatives include his tennis charity exhibition Anthem LIVE! and the J-Block merchandise program. Blake also helps to raise funds for the Harlem Junior Tennis Program and hosts the organisation’s annual fundraising event each year.

Most Improved

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (No. 43 to No. 6): The top Frenchman broke into the Top 10 with two titles, including his maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 shield in Paris. He made an impressive showing at the year’s first Grand Slam, upsetting No. 9 Murray, No. 8 Gasquet and No. 2 Rafael Nadal before falling to No. 3 Djokovic in the Australian Open final. The 23 year old missed three months of the season after undergoing right knee surgery in May, but compiled a 16-4 record upon his return. He won his first ATP World Tour title in Bangkok (d. Djokovic), and beat three Top 10 opponents – Djokovic, Roddick and Nalbandian – to win the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris and clinch a Tennis Masters Cup berth. Tsonga won 20 more matches than the previous season, best among the Top 10.

Posted by Shelia

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