ATP Awards 2023 – who received honours this season?

The ATP Awards 2023 – this was always going to be a night of celebration for a select group of individuals who compete on the ATP Tour. This awards ceremony, which is held at the end of the season for obvious reasons, gives the players and fans something to shout about when there isn’t much tennis going on. As for the various awards and who won them, you are about to read through all of the interesting details.

ATP Awards 2023
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Of course, it was Djokovic’s 2023 season that stole most of the headlines this year. However, he’d already secured the year-end number one and received the trophy. So, the ATP Awards 2023 was never going to be all about Novak Djokovic and his achievements. Instead, there were other individuals who deserved acknowledgement and recognition for their various contributions and achievements throughout 2023.

Anyway, you’re no doubt curious as to what these awards were for the 2023 ceremony. So let’s now dive right into it, starting with an overview of the ATP Awards 2023.

ATP Awards 2023 – the various awards explained

Let’s be honest, unless you are a true tennis fanatic, you’re not going to know all about the ATP awards in terms of what trophies are given out. Even the most avid fans, such as myself, have to do a little bit of digging to see who has been awarded with what. So given that this is the case, let me share the key trophies with you that featured in the ATP Awards 2023 ceremony now:

  • Coach of the Year
  • Most Improved Player
  • Comeback Player of the Year
  • Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award
  • Newcomer of the Year
  • Humanitarian of the Year
  • Fan Favourites awards

For each of these categories, there were multiple nominees. However, as is the case with all awards ceremonies in sports, there can only be one winner for each independent award. Of course, it’s the winners who I shall be focusing on here, while giving some background information on why these respective players received those awards. 

This is all covered in the following sections, so please read on to get a full round-up of the ATP Awards 2023.

Most Improved Player – Jannik Sinner

Of course, it’s highly likely that you are familiar with this young Italian – especially if you tuned in towards the end of the 2023 season. Sinner was absolutely phenomenal in the 2023 ATP Finals, beating Djokovic for the very first time before losing to him in the event final. However, while he didn’t win the tournament, he put on a seriously impressive show.

But it’s not just his performance at the 2023 ATP Finals that helped Sinner secure this award. Amazingly, he started the 2023 season at just 15 in the ATP rankings, but thanks to a total of four titles during the season, Sinner finished the season ranked number 4. Now, this may not seem like a huge jump in terms of the number of places, but it’s actually huge since he has officially cracked the top 5.

Additionally, Sinner captured his very first Masters 1000 title in 2023, while also producing a record of 64-15 for the season – the most of any Italian player in the Open Era.

Coach of the Year – Darren Cahill & Simone Vagnozzi

Surprise surprise, it’s Jannik Sinner’s coaches who claimed the ‘coach of the year’ awards in 2023. Then again, this would seem fitting, especially when you look back on the achievements of Jannik Sinner in 2023. As for when these guys joined the team, Cahill has been with Sinner since June 2022, whereas Vagnozzi has been with the Italian youngster since February 2022.

Of course, to be honoured like this at the ATP Awards 2023 is a huge deal for this duo, even if someone like Cahill has worked with former world number ones in his time. 

Comeback Player of the Year – Jan-Lennard Struff

Despite what the title of this award might lead you to believe, the ‘Comeback Player of the Year’ award isn’t for an actual comeback in a match. It’s actually given to a player who has managed to climb back up the tree concerning the ATP rankings – usually going hand in hand with a player who has almost come from nowhere to do well in major tournaments.

And the player this year was Jan-Lennard Struff. This was given because Struff started the 2023 season ranked 167. He was that low due to long-standing injuries, yet Struff clearly wasn’t ready to let injury troubles keep him outside of the top 150 for longer than necessary. This became obvious to the tennis world once the clay court swing arrived.

Struff started to play like a man possessed, reaching the quarters of the 2023 Monte Carlo Masters event, which set the stall out nicely. And after that triumph, in quite remarkable fashion, Struff made it into the main draw of the 2023 Madrid Open Masters event as a lucky loser and reached the finals!

Interestingly, Struff is the only man to achieve this in the Open Era. And as a result of these surprising performances, Struff reached a career-high in 2023 of number 21 in the world. Sadly, he endured yet another injury later in the season, which kept him away from the tour for three months.

But still – what an incredible season for the German!

Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award – Carlos Alcaraz

Out of all the trophies handed out at the ATP Awards 2023, this is probably the most high-profile award that isn’t based on player performance. Instead, as you can no doubt gather from the award’s name, this one is typically given to the most sporting player on tour. In years gone by, this award has been given to the likes of Federer and Nadal, for obvious reasons.

But this year, there was an element of stepping into the unknown, as there didn’t appear to be a standout candidate. However, when all of the votes were counted, it was the unbelievable youngster, Carlos Alcaraz, who was given the award. And to be honest, when you look at how fair he is on the court, how respectful he is to everyone, and how he carries himself, for me, he is a deserving winner of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award.

ATP Awards 2023 Carlos Alcaraz
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By winning this award, Alcaraz joins some of the other Spanish legends who have received this exact ATP award in the past. This list includes Rafael Nadal, Jose Higueras, and Alex Corretja. Better yet – Alcaraz can add this to previous ATP awards that he has won including the Most Improved Player of 2022 and the Newcomer of the Year in 2020.

Newcomer of the Year – Arthur Fils

Speaking of the Newcomer of the Year, this was another very interesting award to monitor in 2023. Of course, it was primarily the guys who put on a show at the Next Gen Finals who featured in the shortlist for this award. But still, even though we had an established shortlist for the ATP Awards 2023 in this category, it was anyone’s guess who would receive the title.

To give you an idea of the players who were in the running, we had guys like Arthur Fils, Dominic Stricker, Luca Van Assche, and several others. Yet when you consider the kind of season that Fils had, he really does stand out as an obvious winner for the Newcomer of the Year award.

Specifically, Fils went from 250 in the ATP rankings at the start of the year to 36 at the end of it. Additionally, he won his first ATP title in Lyon, while he also made the final of the Next Gen Finals in Saudi Arabia.

Humanitarian of the Year – Felix Auger-Aliassime

This is the second of the two ATP awards 2023 that didn’t strictly require any high-level success on the court. In fact, the Humanitarian of the Year award is even further from the competitive court than the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award. But with that said, it’s still a prestigious award, and the winner has usually contributed in a massive way to a worthy cause in their personal lives.

As for why Felix Auger-Aliassime won the award in 2023, his efforts through the #FAAPointsForChange programme are a major reason. Remarkably, Auger-Aliassime became involved in this back in 2020, and it guaranteed that $20 would be donated to EduChange for every ATP point he earned.

EduChange is a charity that essentially helps kids in Tongo, which is where Auger-Aliassime’s father is from, in all kinds of ways. This includes educational resources, the provision of school uniforms, and so much more. And at the end of the 2023 season, his efforts have helped to raise roughly $400,000 for this charitable cause – a true inspiration.

ATP Awards 2023 – Fan Favourites

Last but not least, I wanted to share the winners of the ‘Fan Favourites’ awards for 2023. For clarity, these form the two ATP Awards 2023 that were chosen by fans – not fellow players. And the winners this year included Jannik Sinner for singles, as well as the duo of Khachanov/Rublev for doubles. 

As you might be aware, Sinner is loved by Italian fans, and he has even developed his own fan club in the form of ‘The Carota Boys’. However, some might argue that Rublev/Khachanov bring even more smiles to the faces of tennis fans.

Being childhood friends, these two have a true laugh on the doubles court, and their chemistry is awesome to watch – so in my opinion, they deserve the Fan Favourites award for doubles.

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