“Want to be Remembered Like a Good Person”: Rafael Nadal Honored to Receive ATP Sportsmanship Award

Published 12/22/2020, 2:00 AM EST
Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after winning championship point during his Men’s Singles Final against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day fifteen of the 2020 French Open at Roland Garros in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


For three years in a row, Rafael Nadal has been announced as the winner of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award. The honor is on account of fair play, professionalism and integrity on and off the court. Voted by his peers, the Spaniard has won the trophy a total of four times in his career. No one but the Swiss maestro Roger Federer and Nadal have received the recognition since 2004.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Many believe that the 20-time Grand Slam champion sealed the deal as early as January 2020. While playing at the Australian Open, Nadal accidentally hit a ball girl on her head returning a serve. What followed was a concerned Rafa immediately running to the girl, looking for signs of injury. The girl stood bravely with a smile, and at the end, received a kiss from the ‘King of Clay’.

The 39-year-old has always been a great competitor of the sport. His humility has never left him, be it in tennis or outside. Therefore, Rafael Nadal is deservedly named for the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award. The nominees alongside him were John Millman, Diego Schwartzman, and Dominic Thiem.

“Be remembered like a good person”: Rafael Nadal

PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 10: Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem congratulate themselves at the end of the Men Final of the 2018 French Open – Day Fifteen at Roland Garros on June 10, 2018, in Paris, France. (Photo by Rindoff Petroff/Suu/Getty Images)

After receiving the honour, the 13 times French Open champion made a video to thank his colleagues. He is standing in his Museum at the Rafa Nadal Academy while delivering the speech. Along with thanking his colleagues for choosing him, the World No. 2 talked about how he wants to be remembered.

“When someone asks me how I want to be remembered, I always answer I want to be remembered like a good person no more than a tennis player. That’s why this trophy means a lot,” said Rafa in the video from his Academy’s Twitter account.

The Manacor born tennis professional also uploaded a story on his Instagram handle. He wrote, “Thanks to all the players for this award. It means a lot to me!”

Rafa Nadal training for the Australian Open 2021

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – SEPTEMBER 20: Rafael Nadal of Team Europe and teammate Roger Federer share a joke during the singles match between Stefanos Tsitsipas of Team Europe and Taylor Fritz of Team World during Day One of the Laver Cup 2019 at Palexpo on September 20, 2019, in Geneva, Switzerland. The Laver Cup will see six players from the rest of the World competing against their counterparts from Europe. Team World is captained by John McEnroe and Team Europe is captained by Bjorn Borg. The tournament runs from September 20-22. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images for Laver Cup)

Despite being criticised for not winning on the hard courts, Nadal won the Australian Open in 2009 and has competed in five finals overall. The Spaniard is training to strike back again and aim for glory. He has finalised the three players he will train with during quarantine in Australia.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Rafael Nadal to Train with Stan Wawrinka, Schwartzman and Sinner During Quarantine at Australian Open 2021

5 months ago

Regarding the ATP Awards 2020, here is the list of all the winners. Surprisingly, Federer won the Fan’s Favourite Award for the eighteenth consecutive year despite missing most of the Tour.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Novak Djokovic to Train with Dominic Thiem, Rublev and Krajinovic During Quarantine at Australian Open 2021

5 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Purav Joshi

654 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT