This Monday, December 21, the 2020 ATP awards were presented: the Big 3 was present, as were Rublev and Alcaraz, among others.
2020 ATP Award Winners
No. 1 ATP Novak Djokovic: The Serbian closed the season at No. 1 for the sixth time in the last 10 seasons (also 2011-12, 2014-15 and 2018) after a stellar season in which he lifted four titles. Djokovic won his first 26 matches of the season, clinching a historic eighth Australian Open title, as well as trophies from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, the Western & Southern Open in New York and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. He was also a runner-up at Roland Garros and reached the semi-finals of the Nitto ATP Finals. At 33 years, 6 months and 16 days, Djokovic sets a new record as the longest-running final No. 1 of the year in FedEx ATP Rankings history, surpassing the mark signed by Nadal in 2019 (33 years, 5 months, 23 days ). Djokovic also matched his childhood idol, American Pete Sampras, who finished six times at the top of men’s professional tennis between 1993 and 1998.
No. 1 ATP Doubles Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares: The pair of Croatian Pavic and Brazilian Soares boosted to close the year as No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Doubles Team Rankings after achieving great results in the second half of the season. Although both players had previously peaked in doubles, Pavic in 2018 alongside Oliver Marach and Soares in 2016 alongside Jamie Murray, it was their first close of the year at No. 1 as a team. Pavic, 27, and Soares, 38, joined forces to achieve their first Grand Slam together in September at the US Open. They would reach two other great finals in Paris on the clay of Roland Garros and under the cover of the Rolex Paris Masters.
Best Comeback of the Year (voted by ATP players) Vasek Pospisil: Former world No. 25 Pospisil was out of competition for much of 2019 after undergoing back surgery to treat a fiscal hernia, starting the season outside of the Top 100. However, the Canadian improved his FedEx ATP Rankings dramatically. after a great comeback season, climbing 89 spots to No. 61. Vasek made the highest entry into the Top 100 since 2019. Pospisil, 30, reached his first ATP Tour final since 2014 at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier, and continued this result by reaching the final of the Sofia Open – the second and third finals of his career. Pospisil also reached the knockout stages of the US Open, consecutively beating Top 20 figures – Roberto Bautista Agut (No. 11) and Milos Raonic (No. 18) – to sign his best Grand Slam result since the quarter-finals. Wimbledon 2015. Kevin Anderson, Andrey Kuznetsov and Raonic were also nominated in this category.
Most Improved Player of the Year (Voted by ATP Players) Andrey Rublev: Rublev rose from No. 23 to No. 8 in the FedEx ATP Rankings after a terrific season in which he has won five titles – more than any other player on the tour. The Russian started the course in top form, winning titles consecutively at the Adelaide International and the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, becoming the first player since Dominik Hrbaty in 2004 to start the year by winning titles in the first two weeks of the season. . He maintained a high level in the second half of the year reaching the US Open and Roland Garros quarterfinals, and added three ATP 500 trophies to his showcase with victories at the Hamburg European Open, St. Petersburg Open and Erste Bank Open (Vienna). Rublev closed the season with his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals and finished the year with a 41-10 record, equaling Novak Djokovic (41-5) as the leader of wins on the circuit in 2020. Ugo Humbert, Diego Schwartzman and Jannik Sinner also were nominated in this category.
Breakthrough of the Year (voted by ATP players) Carlos Alcaraz: Spain’s Alcaraz closed the 2019 season as No. 491 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. In 2020, he rose 350 spots to complete the course at No. 141 after reaching his best spot at No. 136, winning three ATP Challenger Tour titles to fuel a rapid rise. At 17 years old, the youngest of the four players under 20 in the Top 200, he achieved his first win in an ATP Tour final draw in notable fashion, beating Albert Ramos-Viñolas in the first round of the Rio Open. Alcaraz burst onto the Challenger circuit by winning the trophy in Trieste, but the best was yet to come on home soil. The Spaniard lifted back-to-back Challenger titles in Barcelona and Alicante – sealing the latter with his second Top 100 victory of the year in the final. As a result, Alcaraz added his name to the exclusive list of players who have won at least three Challenger titles before turning 18, following in the footsteps of Richard Gasquet, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martín del Potro and Felix Auger-Aliassime. Five other #NextGenATP stars – Sebastian Korda, Lorenzo Musetti, Jurij Rodionov, Emil Ruusuvuori and Thiago Seyboth Wild – were also nominated in this category.
Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award (voted by ATP players) Rafael Nadal: His teammates chose No. 2 Nadal as the winner of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for the third year in a row and fourth overall, recognizing the Spaniard for his fair play, professionalism and integrity on and off the court. Nadal also received this recognition in 2010. John Millman, Diego Schwartzman and Dominic Thiem were also nominated in this category.
Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award (presented by ATP) Frances Tiafoe: American Tiafoe made a huge impact off-track during a turbulent 2020 season, using his means during the five-month suspension from the ATP Tour. Tiafoe, who supports ThanksUSA and the USTA’s National Junior Tennis and Learning Network (NJTL), auctioned signed items to Athletes for COVID-19 Relief, whose funds went to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. Along with his girlfriend and partner Ayan Broomfield, Tiafoe also posted ‘Racquets Down, Hands Up’, a shocking video that rallied the black tennis community around the murder of George Floyd. The sequence included the participation of Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, James Blake and Gael Monfils, among others.
Fan Favorite Award (Individual) (voted by fans) Roger Federer: The Swiss was honored by fans with the Fans’ Favorite Award for the 18th consecutive year, increasing his collection of ATP Awards to 39. Currently ranked No. 5 in the world, Federer reached the semi-finals of the 2020 Australian Open in his first tournament of the year. Since then he has stayed out of the competition after undergoing an operation on his right knee.
Fan Favorite Award (Doubles) (voted by fans) Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski: The British couple won their first Fan Favorite award. Murray, 34, and Skupski, 31, joined forces in 2019 and closed the season with their first title as a couple at the Sofia Open. The pair also reached two finals at the Western & Southern Open in New York and the Erste Bank Open in Vienna.
Coach of the Year (voted by ATP coaches) Fernando Vicente: Andrey Rublev’s coach led the Russian to win five ATP Tour titles in five finals, add 41 wins and climb to career-high at No. 8 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. “I would give him an ‘excellent’ for the season,” Vicente told ATPTour.com. The former Spanish player helped Rublev to his first ATP 500 titles at the Hamburg European Open, the St. Petersburg Open and the Erste Bank Open (Vienna), as well as the Adelaide and Doha crowns. Vicente was chosen from a list of candidates that also included Gilles Cervara (Daniil Medvedev), Juan Ignacio Chela (Diego Schwartzman), Nicolás Massú (Dominic Thiem) and Riccardo Piatti (Jannik Sinner).
Tim Gullikson Coach Career Award (voted on by ATP coaches) Bob Brett: The 67-year-old Australian, who previously assisted Grand Slam champions Boris Becker, Goran Ivanisevic, Marin Cilic and Johan Kriek during his 46-year career, was unanimously chosen as the second winner of this accolade. The award embodies excellence, leadership, respect and a true love for the sport of tennis and the art of coaching. Raised in honor of Tim Gullikson, the award celebrates the figure of one who has inspired generations of young tennis players and other coaches to develop the sport of tennis.
Ron Bookman Award For Journalistic Excellence (presented by ATP) Kevin Mitchell: As a sportswriter for The Guardian, Mitchell specializes in tennis and boxing. Born in Malawi and raised in Australia, Mitchell was named British Sports Journalist of the Year in 1999 and was previously the sports editor in chief at The Observer. He has also written for the London Daily News, the Sunday Times and Hayters. He is the author of numerous books, including the autobiography of boxer Frank Bruno.