The ATP World Tour awards have shown once again how important, and how close the rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal really is.
The Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, which is voted for by the players, was won by Rafael Nadal for the first year, having been previously won 6 consecutive times by Federer.
Federer, however, pipped Nadal at the post in the Fan Favourite category. Federer claimed 47 percent of the votes while Nadal claimed 42 percent. The fact that the two players accounted for 89 percent of the votes is just incredible and really demonstrates how popular the two men are. These numbers also explain why tennis is not as exciting when one player is out, for example when Nadal was out or struggling for a substantial part of last season.
Nadal also claimed the year end number 1 spot with a 67-9 win-loss record, his fourth consecutive year with 65 wins or more.
So fantastic is the rivalry between the two that Andy Roddick recently encouraged fans to enjoy it while it lasts. “Rafa has had an unbelievable year. What he has done is unreal. To put it into context what Roger and Rafa have achieved for the past five years I would hope that people appreciate it because I guarantee people will be writing in 15 years time that these were the good old days.”