Thursday, February 18, 2010

Serial Sportsman

The results of the ATP awards are out for another year, and once again, my man Roger Federer has cleaned up. Not only is he Player of the Year (which we knew, because, hello, rankings) but he was also voted Fan Favourite and won the award for sportsmanship as well. That award is named after Stefan Edberg because he won it five times in eight years, or something similar.

Roger's now won it six times in a row.

I read an article the other day about a guy who said that he didn't love Roger, even though he recognised the awesomeness of Federer tennis, because he basically regarded Roger as a serial gamesman. He cited examples like the whole Britain not winning a Slam in 150,000 years comment as evidence of the fact that Roger engaged in gamesmanship and was somehow allowed a free pass because his tennis was so awesome. (And then - slightly off the point, but still - went on to say that Roger was OMGarrogant because he remarked that he was a 'talented' player. Roger admitted he was talented? OHNOTHEGO! Spew.)

To refute that, the notion that Federer is a gamesman who gets wins by messing with his opponents and playing dirty, I think you have to look no further than this award. It isn't people on the outside voting for this one - it's Roger's peers, the guys he sees day in, day out... you know, the guys that would get really, really pissed off if he was some kind of serial gamesman. But no. Six times in a row.

Ain't no one can claim that Roger Federer is a bad sport or some kind of bad example. Not in my book.

For me, that sportsmanship award is the most telling when it comes to statesmanship, but I don't think you can overlook the Fan Favourite award as well. People don't necessarily vote for Roger in this award because he is the best player in the world, even though he is. They vote for him because he is Roger, good example, good player, good guy. Tennis could not have a worthier king.

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