Kevin Anderson and Simona Halep have been honoured in the International Tennis Writers’ Association’s annual “Ambassador of the Year” awards. Both are first-time winners of the awards.
The awards are given each year to one man and one woman after a vote by the 120-plus members of ITWA, which represents the world’s leading tennis journalists. The awards recognise a combination of achievements on the court, conduct that shows tennis in the best possible light and co-operation with the media.
Anderson enjoyed the best year of his career in 2018. He reached his second Grand Slam final at Wimbledon, won his first ATP 500 title in Vienna and achieved a career-high world ranking at No 5.
Isabelle Musy, co-President of ITWA, said: “Kevin’s great sportsmanship was evident on many occasions last year. He also does a lot for tennis off the court. As Vice President of the ATP’s Player Council and as someone who takes his media responsibilities seriously, he is very much aware of the importance of the sport’s public image.”
Halep won her first Grand Slam title at the French Open in 2018 and retained her position at the top of the world rankings at the end of the year despite having to finish her season early because of a back injury.
Paul Newman, ITWA’s other co-President, said: “Simona’s honesty and frankness in her dealings with the media are appreciated by journalists around the world. As the world No 1 she has many media commitments, but carries them out with a smile and with great diligence.”
The players were presented with their awards here at the Australian Open
2017: Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal, Petra Kvitova
2016: Andy Murray, Angelique Kerber
2015: Andy Murray, Garbiñe Muguruza