Bob and Mike Bryan and Samantha Stosur received the first ever US Open Sportsmanship award.
© Philip Hall/USTA
Monday, September 10, 2012
Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan and Samantha Stosur have received the first-ever "US Open Sportsmanship Award" presented to the male and female professional tennis players who best demonstrate excellence in sportsmanship throughout the Emirates Airline US Open Series and the US Open. The award was presented to the three winners today at the US Open by USTA Chairman of the Board and President Jon Vegosen and Sportsmanship Selection Committee Chairman Todd Martin.
"Bob and Mike are both great champions and gracious competitors, making them the perfect choice to receive the US Open Sportsmanship Award," said Vegosen. "Through all of their accomplishments on the court, Bob and Mike have exuded the class and integrity that exemplify what makes tennis such a great sport. Their success continues to set a perfect example for future generations."
Bob and Mike Bryan won the 2012 US Open men’s doubles title to break the Open Era record for the most Grand Slam team titles with their 12th major trophy. The Bryans passed Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde in the Open Era and tied John Newcombe and Tony Roche for the all-time record. The Bryans also won the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Toronto this summer and reached the semifinals of the Series event in Cincinnati. Off the court, Esurance, the official car insurance sponsor of the US Open, teamed up with the Bryan brothers and USTA Serves this summer to support two tennis programs benefiting at-risk youth.
"Great sports make a sport great and Samantha Stosur is a perfect choice for the US Open Sportsmanship Award," said Vegosen of the 2011 US Open singles champion. "Samantha is a phenomenal player and also exhibits the type of quality and tradition in our sport that we want to showcase. When someone like Samantha has accomplished as much as she has and is still a class act, it shows that character is really important in the game and in life."
"I feel extremely honored to accept the Sportsmanship Award," said Stosur. "I always try to compete hard and growing up watching my idols, I admired the players who were graceful in victory or defeat. It was a surprise to receive the award and nice to take home the beautiful trophy, although not quite the big one I was after."
Stosur won the 2011 US Open, defeating Serena Williams in the final. She reached the round of 16 at the US Open this year, losing to world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in an epic three-set match. Stosur also reached the quarterfinals of the Emirates Airline US Open Series event in Cincinnati and the round of 16 in Montreal. She is ranked No. 7 in the world.
Under Vegosen’s leadership, 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."
Eligibility requirements for winners include participating in at least two Series tournaments, as well as the 2012 US Open. In addition to a handsome trophy, each US Open Sportsmanship Award winner receives a $5,000 donation to the charity of his or her choice. Samantha Stosur received the women’s US Open Sportsmanship Award.