Kei Nishikori was a double winner on Wednesday. Not only did he prevail in a marathon five-set quarterfinal over No. 2 seed Andy Murray, but he was also named the 2016 US Open Sportmanship Award winner.
The US Open Sportsmanship Award has been given out annually since 2012. It's presented to the professional tennis players who best demonstrate excellence in sportsmanship throughout the Emirates Airline US Open Series and the US Open.
Former world No. 4 and 1999 US Open finalist Todd Martin was on hand to present the award to Nishikori.
"It's a great honor to get the Sportmanship Award," said Nishikori. "I try to stay calm and not have too many ups and downs. It's great to show that other people that I'm always staying tough."
The USTA started its 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.”
Eligibility requirements for winners include participating in at least two Series tournaments, as well as the 2015 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 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).