Melbourne, 13 January 2018 – Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been honoured in the International Tennis Writers’ Association’s annual “Ambassador of the Year” Awards.
The awards are usually given to one man and one woman, but ITWA’s 120 members voted overwhelmingly in favour of making the men’s award a joint presentation to Federer and Nadal.
ITWA represents the world’s leading tennis journalists. Its awards recognise a combination of achievements on the court, conduct that shows tennis in the best possible light and co-operation with the media.
Isabelle Musy, co-President of ITWA, said: “The only other occasion when we have made a joint award was when we recognised the Bryan brothers in 2013. As Roger and Rafa played doubles together at the Laver Cup last year, our members thought this joint award was justified.”
Both Federer and Nadal have won the Ambassador of the Year award in the past as individuals, but this is the first time they have been honoured jointly.
The Swiss and the Spaniard had huge success in 2017, sharing the year’s four Grand Slam titles and ending the season as No 1 and No 2 in the world rankings.
Paul Newman, ITWA’s other co-President, said: “Besides their achievements in terms of trophies, both Roger and Rafa were once again great ambassadors for their sport in the way that they conducted themselves on and off the court.
“They both understand that a good relationship with the media helps everyone and we are always grateful for the time they give to their media commitments.”
Kvitova’s award followed her return to competition last year following the horrific knife attack on her at the end of 2016.
Isabelle Musy said: “Petra showed incredible bravery in the way she returned to tennis and was prepared to talk openly to the media about her comeback. Her first press conference at Roland Garros, when she spoke so eloquently about her return, was one of the most remarkable events of the year.”
The players were presented with their awards here at the Australian Open
- 2016: Andy Murray, Angelique Kerber
- 2015: Andy Murray, Garbiñe Muguruza