This award is made periodically to a player who has shown throughout his or her playing career the outstanding standard of sportsmanship commensurate with the objects of the International Clubs. The relevant objective of the ICs is to “develop, encourage and maintain the highest standards of sportsmanship and understanding among players of all nations and among young players in particular”. Past winners are Stefan Edberg, Chris Evert, Todd Martin, Maria Bueno, Pat Rafter, Kim Clijsters, Gustavo Kuerten and Mats Wilander. The IC is proud to announce the Roger Federer is the winner of this year's award. It was presented to him on the eve of Wimbledon by MIchael Stich, Wimbledon champion and Vice-President of the Council of ICs, and in the presence of the award's new sponsor, SIr Michael Hintze of CQS.
Roger was also presented with the following citation written by Frew McMillan:
Jean Borotra was one of the 4 French Musketeers and as a six-time Davis Cup winner and Champion of Australia, France and Wimbledon (he lost in the final of the US) the Bounding Basque as he was known is without doubt an All Time Great. So in terms of Greatness this is a most fitting award to recognize another of the very best in the history of the game. Indeed many regard Roger Federer as THE best of the greatest.
Greatness and being No 1 in the World is one thing. Fair play and Sportsmanship to accompany it are what sets apart players like Roger and Jean Borotra. But where Borotra was known for his French charm and for jumping not only over the net but also in to the stands to kiss the hands of swooning women, Roger's approach to being a good sport has been much quieter, much more classical -like his tennis. Not that there is a woman in the land who would not want Roger to kiss her hand and more!
His on and off court behaviour reflects that of previous winners of this Jean Borotra award and of past players such as Gustavo Kuerten, Kim Clijsters, Pat Rafter, Stefan Edberg, Arthur Ashe, Margaret Court, Maria Bueno and before the 1970's virtually every top American and Australian. And here I am sure Roger would like to hear that he can be bracketed with the likes of the great Rod Laver and Lew Hoad.
Just in case you think Roger is beginning to sound like an absolute angel he hasn't always been so perfect. There are whispers in the back streets of Basel of Roger tossing his toys out of his pram and in his younger days throwing racquets and throwing a fair number of temper tantrums too. Credit for steering Roger onto the right track (tram-lines?) is very much owing not only to Roger's self discipline but more especially to his parents Robert and Lynette and another great influence in his career, his early coach Australian, Peter Carter. These days the only dark look he shows us on court is that sideways glance at Hawk Eye!
But it is not only his model on court manners that we have come to admire. Consider what he gives off the court. Speaking German, French, Italian and English as he does, the time he gives for interviews is greater than anyone else and has to be admired. ln other words the near perfect international approach of a wonderful role model.
Jean Borotra, like Roger Federer, was bom in August. He died in 1994 at the ripe old age of 95. Roger was 12 then. Like all the Old Masters I know Borotra would have loved the Federer class, style and approach to tennis,
It is very fitting therefore that the 2013 International Club Jean Borotra CQS Award for Sportsmanship should be awarded to Roger Federer.
Frew McMillan, June 2013 For The Council of International Clubs