Pop the champagne!
DelPo has been nominated for the 2012 Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, which is voted by the players! The other nominees are Marin Cilic, Roger Federer and David Ferrer.
In the true spirit of sportsmanship, I will now list the reasons why all the other candidates besides DelPo are simply unworthy of the venerable Sportsmanship Award (in the hopes that my slandering of other candidates will somehow heighten DelPo’s chances of winning). Let us start:
- Marin Cilic: Look, Cilic is a nice guy. He has a good demeanor. He’s one of those players you struggle to come up with words to describe, so you eventually settle on “nice.” He also won Queens, when Nalby got defaulted in the final. However, your opponent having an instance of bad sportsmanship doesn’t automatically make you the living embodiment of good sportsmanship. We can do better than him! BAM. Cilic is crossed off the list.
So, who’s next?
- Roger Federer: Ah, Federer. He is the seven-time recipient of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, and deservedly so. He is efficient with his time on-court and a courteous gentleman. No exaggeration, he earns top marks for being the public face of tennis for the past decade. At the Olympics this year, Fed declined the opportunity to be Switzerland’s flag-bearer (in what would have been his third instance), in order to give another Swiss athlete the honor. That led to this heartwarming moment at the Opening Ceremony, where Stanislas got to be Switzerland’s proud flag-bearer:
That was so sportsman-like from Roger! He should do that again, with the Sportsmanship Award. Fed should decline his nomination for the Sportsmanship Award and allow someone else to win it. I hope Fed does the right thing here. Do the right thing, Rog.
Do it for Simba:
Or, as we like to call him in the tennis world, DelPo:
- So who’s the last man standing in the path of DelPo winning the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award? Ferru. If Simba had an older brother, he would be Ferru. Simba occasionally has outbursts of temper, whereas Ferru is slightly more mature. I am struggling to come up with ways to downplay Ferru. He can be so irritatingly perfect, you know? I literally can’t come up with anything right now, and this frustrates me. On a somewhat related note, I remember DelPo once shared a photo of himself on a bicycle. Months later, Ferru tweeted a photo of himself in full cycling gear, with a proper bike and helmet. It was a classic case of overachieving elder sibling overshadowing the younger sibling at the dinner table. Why do you have to be so perfect and over-prepared, Ferru, why?
Still, DelPo’s shown sterling sportsmanship this year! So he may have declined to shake the ump’s hand after losing the Madrid SF. But DelPo was playing Berdy in that match, which thereby nullifies the bad behavior.
Plus, DelPo is not a racquet-breaker. This may or may not have to do with the fact that Wilson now refuses to manufacture more of his lucky K-factor racquets, which means they’re in limited supply, but let’s not digress here.
DelPo cleans his opponent’s sweat off Arthur Ashe Center Court, the very location where he was crowned 2009 USO champion. He could have scolded the ball boy for not taking to the task, but he did the job himself:
DelPo then gave a splendid speech to the crowd and gracefully handed over the moment to Roddick after retiring him at Flushing Meadows. Pure class.
Also, DelPo is nice to animals:
Yes, Ferru has his adorable cats. However, I would argue that it’s tougher to show good sportsmanship to a butterfly, because butterflies are sneaky and they can flutter around at the most inconvenient times.
In closing, I hope I have convinced everyone that 1) Cilic should not win this award 2) Fed should recuse himself and allow someone else to take the sportsmanship spotlight 3) Ferru may be perfect, but 4) DELPO DESERVES TO WIN, BECAUSE HE’S DEL-PERFECT IN HIS OWN WAY TOO.
Also, DelPo returns to the tour after a month off due to left wrist injury. He plays his R2 match against Germany’s Daniel Brands in a few hours. Updates to follow!