The Sportsmanship Award is accorded to the players who best display excellence in sportsmanship throughout the US Open Series and the US Open. The winners get a trophy and a $5,000 donation to a charity of their choice.
The co-chair of the US Open Sportsmanship Award Selection Committee, Todd Martin said in a statement on Wednesday, “Naomi and Diego are both tremendous competitors and athletes, but at this year’s US Open, and throughout the entire summer.
He further added, “They have demonstrated a level of sportsmanship that is even more impressive than their play on the court.”
Earlier, Naomi Osaka had defeated the next-generation star, Coco Gauff in straight sets in the third round of the US Open 2019. Gauff was but obvious emotional after the match. However, Osaka went up to the Gauff to console her and encouraged the teenager to join her post-match interview.
He said in the post-match press conference, “Rafa is like a lion in the middle of the jungle. He’s a fighter. He knows how to play the important moments every single time. I played eight times, and every important moment he played better than me.”
Todd further thanked Naomi Osaka and Diego Schwartzman for being a role model and inspiration for the other players. He said, “We are incredibly pleased to present them with this year’s US Open Sportsmanship Awards and thank them for being true role models and inspirations for all those that play the game.”
The players who are eligible for this award include participating in at least two US Open Series tournaments, as well as the US Open.
The USTA started a Sportsmanship Committee in the 2011 season. The committee is in charge of educating and inspiring youngsters to learn and display a high degree of sportsmanship and an attitude of fair play with respecting their opponents.