Established in 1977, the ATP Sportsmanship Award gained its regular owner between 1988-1995, with Stefan Edberg with five honors in those years. Known as one of the most relaxed and acknowledged players on the Tour, the ATP recognized Edberg in 1996 when the award took his name, represented as the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award since then.
In the last 24 years, Alex Corretja, Patrick Rafter, Paradorn Srichaphan, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were the only winners of the award voted by the players themselves, with Federer and Nadal taking every single one since 2004!
Nadal earned it in 2010 and 2018 while Federer grabbed all the remaining years (although it is not entirely clear what you have to do to secure the award), receiving the honor for the 13th time in 2017. After winning it in 2018, Nadal was nominated for the 2019 season together with Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem and Diego Schwartzman, beating the rivals to become the third player since 1996 with three Stefan Edberg awards after Patrick Rafter and Roger Federer.
The 33-year-old Spaniard was the most consistent player of the season, reaching at least the semi-final in every but two ATP tournaments and winning 58 out of 65 matches. Nadal claimed four ATP titles in Rome, Roland Garros, Canada and the US Open, standing as the only player with at least the semi-finals at all four Majors and passing Novak Djokovic in the closing stages to secure the year-end no.
1 spot for the fifth time. After the final at the Australian Open, Rafa needed some time to find his A-game again, winning back-to-back crowns in Rome and Roland Garros before more success in Montreal and New York, earning enough points to stay in front of Novak in the ATP Race and wrap up the year on the ATP throne.