Established in 1977, the ATP Sportsmanship Award obtained its established owner between 1988-1995, with Stefan Edberg achieving honors in those years. Known as one of the most untroubled 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 ever since.
In the previous 24 years, Alex Corretja, Patrick Rafter, Paradorn Srichaphan, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were the only winners of the award voted between the players themselves, with Federer and Nadal securing all of them since 2004!
Nadal earned it in 2010 and 2018 while Federer grabbed all the remaining seasons, although it is not entirely clear what you have to do to secure the award, receiving the 13th and so far the last in 2017. After winning it in 2018, Nadal was nominated again in 2019 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.
We are yet to find out the winner for 2020, but we already know it wouldn't be Roger Federer, who is not in contention after competing at only one tournament in the season behind us. In his shortest year on Tour, Roger reached the Australian Open semi-final and skipped the rest of the action after two knee surgeries in February and May.
The Swiss is working hard on a comeback, increasing the practice court's pace and hoping to get ready for the Australian Open in January or February.
Between 2004-17, Roger Federer grabbed 13 Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Awards.
Roger claimed four ATP titles in 2019 to finish inside the top-3 behind Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, missing a chance to conquer the ninth Wimbledon crown after wasting two match points against Djokovic in that memorable final.
Kicking off the 2020 season in Melbourne, Roger battled hard against John Millman and Tennys Sandgren to reach the last four. Struggling with a groin injury, Federer saved seven match points against the American in the quarter-final's fourth set, having nothing left in the tank ahead of the next clash!
In the semis, Novak Djokovic defeated Roger in straight sets, marking the season's final official match for the Basel native. After the record-breaking Cape Town encounter with Rafael Nadal on February 7, Federer underwent knee surgery, planning to return in June on his beloved grass in Halle and Wimbledon.
The Swiss failed to take the pain away and underwent another surgery in May, sidelined for the rest of the season and focused on his family during the coronavirus pandemic. Keeping those points from 2019, Federer should start the new season from inside the top-5, hoping to reach his pre-injury level and compete for notable titles again at 39.