USTA Press Release, September 8, 2017
The USTA announced on Thursday that Juan Martin del Potro and Petra Kvitova have been awarded the sixth annual US Open Sportsmanship Awards, presented to the professional tennis players who best demonstrate excellence in sportsmanship throughout the US Open Series and the US Open.
The 2009 US Open champion, del Potro has advanced to the singles semifinals this year after defeating five-time champion Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. Kvitova advanced to the women’s quarterfinals after missing much of the first half of 2017 while recovering from hand injuries suffered during a knife attack in the offseason.
“Both Juan Martin and Petra have not only captivated us at this year’s US Open, but shown incredible class in doing so,” said USTA Chairman, CEO and President Katrina Adams. “With Petra’s incredible comeback story and Juan Martin’s ability to capture the New York crowd, we couldn’t be happier to honor these great competitors with our US Open Sportsmanship Awards.”
The USTA started a Sportsmanship Committee in 2011. Its charge is to “educate and inspire youngsters and their parents to develop and exhibit a high degree of sportsmanship and an attitude of fair play and mutual respect on and off the tennis court. Underlying the charge is the ethical imperative that fairness is more important than winning.”
The USTA Sportsmanship Award Selection Committee is comprised of USTA representatives, former players and journalists, including Co-Chairs Todd Martin and Lars Rosene, Jon Vegosen, Mary Carillo, Mary Joe Fernandez, Chanda Rubin, Joel Drucker, Steve Flink and Matt Cronin.
Eligibility requirements for winners include participating in at least two Series tournaments, as well as the 2017 US Open. Each US Open Sportsmanship Award winner receives a trophy and a $5,000 donation to the charity of his or her choice. Past winners include Angelique Kerber and Kei Nishikori (2016), Venus Williams and Kevin Anderson (2015), Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki (2014), Li Na and David Ferrer (2013) and Bob and Mike Bryan and Samantha Stosur (2012).