This was a great day to be a Federer fan, and it had nothing to do with his tennis. There are many things that make up the great man we "know" as Roger Federer - his beautiful and graceful all court play, his multitude of records that only just start with 17 grand slam trophies, 302 weeks at #1, over 900 match wins, and so many more. But these are only a part of what makes him loved by so many millions around the world. The other facets of this amazing man that so many refer to as the Greatest of all Time is the type of person he is off court. And a few of these were recognized and rewarded in a special ceremony at the World tour Finals.
For me the most important award he continues to receive time and time again, nine years all together, is the Stephan Edberg Sportsmanship Award. The reason is that this is voted by his peers, those who play on the court with him over and over, who see him in the locker room and around the grounds. For someone who has experienced so much success to be known for years on end as the most sportsman-like guy on the tour says so much about the character of this man. Where some guys are known for trying to win in whatever ways possible (sideline coaching, injury timeouts at inopportune times, etc.), this is not something Federer ever, ever does. He wants his time spent on the tour to improve tennis in general, and that certainly has happened above and beyond. I am so proud of him for continuing to be a man of such quality day in and day out, year in and year out.
And this doesn't only include his tennis life. He is also very generous in trying help struggling children in many countries around the world through the Roger Federer Foundation, which is why he received the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award for the second time. There are many of the players who are generous with their finances, so he is certainly not the only one, but he takes great interest in his foundation in spite of his busy life and will continue to do so when his professional tennis life ends.
And finally, who could forget the Fan Favorite Award. Not only has he won this 11 times in a row, but he had 56% of the total vote - wow! He goes above and beyond with his fans, always taking extra time to sign autographs and talk with fans. (Hopefully someday I will be able to get close enough to him to experience this myself!). The combination of what he has accomplished on the court and all that we know him to be off the court among his peers, his charity work, who he is as a family man, and on and on, make him the obvious choice for who the fans love most. And I, for one, am so proud to be his fan! Of course we would love to see him with the great results again that have been missing this year in his tennis life, but we will continue to love and support him regardless because this is what fans do and this is what he deserves.