Denis Shapovalov fell just short in his quest to make the semifinals at the Next-Gen Finals in Milan Thursday.
But a few minutes later, came a small consolation prize.
The 18-year-old was voted the “Most Improved” player of the year on the ATP Tour. Shapovalov beat out top-10 players Alexander Zverev and David Goffin for the honor. Ironically, he also beat out the player he had just lost to in Milan, Russia’s Andrey Rublev.
Shapovalov also got the “Star of Tomorrow” award last month.
In another bit of irony, South African Neville Godwin won the “Coach of the Year” award for the good work he did with countryman Kevin Anderson.
Anderson was a surprise finalist at the US Open in September.
Just a few days ago, Anderson announced that the two had parted ways after four years together.
Three prizes for Federer
Roger Federer, as has seemingly been a slam-dunk in recent years, captured both the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship award as well as the “Fan Favorite” award.
A new addition this year was the “Comeback player of the year” award
That’s 15 consecutive years for Federer and the “Fan Favorite” award. Federer has won the sportsmanship award 13 out of the last 14 years; the only exception was 2010, when Rafael Nadal took that prize.
The “Fan Favorite” award, as its name indicates, is voted on by the fans. The Sportsmanship award is voted on by Federer’s fellow players.
Other award recipients
The Bryan brothers won the “Fan Favorite” in the doubles category for the 13th consecutive year. The award has only been in existence for 13 years.
On the tournament side, the players voted for Indian Wells in the Masters 1000 category, Acapulco in the 500 category, and Doha in the 250 category as tournaments of the year.
It’s the fourth consecutive year for the big-budget BNP Paribas Open. At the 500 level, Dubai was the perennial winner, until being overtaken by Queen’s Club in 2015 and 2016 (it won the award at the 250 level in 2013 and 2014, but then was upgraded).
Romanian doubles specialist Horia Tecau won the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award for his efforts in championing children’s rights & education in Romania.
The “Player of the Year” prize goes to the year-end No. 1. And so the winner, Nadal, was determined last week. He’ll receive his trophy after the 2 p.m. match between Federer and Jack Sock Sunday at the Tour Finals.
Since 2008, Nadal has won Player of the Year four times. Novak Djokovic also has won it four times, Andy Murray and Federer have taken it once each.