Established in 1977, the ATP Sportsmanship Award gained its regular owner between 1988-1995, with Stefan Edberg winning 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 25 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!
The streak has stayed alive in 2020 after Rafael Nadal received the honor for the third straight year and the fourth in total. Thus, the Spaniard became the fourth player with four awards, thanking the fellow players and finding a special place in his museum.
Nadal's first Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award came in 2010, and the next three came since 2018, outplaying Roger Federer and topping the charts. Rafa had another marvelous season behind him, securing the 20th Major crown while staying humbled and always dedicated to respect the rivals and bring his best on the court.
Rafa lost in the ATP Cup final to Novak Djokovic and the Australian Open quarter-final against Dominic Thiem to step away from the ATP throne. Rafa claimed the 85th ATP title in Acapulco before the coronavirus outbreak, spending the next six and a half months at home and skipping Cincinnati and the US Open.
The Spaniard returned to the court in Rome, losing in the quarter-final and heading to Roland Garros with only three matches in his legs since the end of February.
Rafael Nadal won the fourth Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award.
Getting back at his best, Rafa won the 13th title in Paris, beating all seven rivals in straight sets to write history books at 34.
Eager to continue in the same style during the indoor swing, Nadal suffered the semi-final loss at the Paris Masters and the ATP Finals, missing a chance of fighting for more trophies. Rafa is already on the practice court, working hard on his game at home in Mallorca ahead of the mid-January Melbourne trip.
"Hello everyone. It means a lot to me to win another Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award. It is an important trophy, and I will keep it close to the other three. I want to thank all my colleagues for thinking I'm the right one to receive the sportsmanship award.
When someone asks me how I want to be remembered, I always respond that I want them to cherish me as a good person and then a tennis player. That's why this award means a lot to me, and it should find a special place in my museum," Rafael Nadal said.