Bjorkman Awarded ARAG Fair Play Trophy
Swede Jonas Bjorkman was awarded the 2007 ARAG Fair Play Trophy for the second time after 2005 at the "Night of the Champions" at K21 on Monday evening.
The 35-year-old Bjorkman is the fourth player to receive the valuable Trophy, created by the Duesseldorf jeweller Georg Hornemann, twice after Stefan Edberg (1989, 1995), Pete Sampras (1993, 2002) and Patrick Rafter (2000, 2001).
"Jonas Bjorkman deserves it: He is a perfect athlete, affable and old enough for this award," tournament director Dietloff von Arnim said in his short speech.
Bjorkman returned the compliments: "That's great for me, but it is also a fantastic event supported by a great sponsor. I am hoping that we will still go a long way together."
He received the award from the hands of Dr. Paul-Otto Faßbender, the Chairman of the Board of title sponsor ARAG.
Bjorkman received a further award for his tenth participation in the ARAG WORLD TEAM CUP. He is the third Swede after Stefan Edberg and Anders Jarryd to take part for the tenth time.
"We hadn't reckoned at all that another player would achieve that feat," von Arnim admitted.
A jury made up from 30 national and international media tennis experts and the eight team captains of the participating nations voted about the conduct of the ARAG ATP World Team Championship players on and off the court during the season.
1988 Tim Mayotte (USA)
1989 Stefan Edberg (SWE)
1990 Martin Jaite (ARG)
1991 Eric Jelen (GER)
1992 Guy Forget (FRA)
1993 Pete Sampras (USA)
1994 Magnus Gustafsson (SWE)
1995 Stefan Edberg (SWE)
1996 Jakob Hlasek (SUI)
1997 Michael Stich (GER)
1998 Petr Korda (CZE)
1999 Alex Corretja (ESP)
2000 Patrick Rafter (AUS)
2001 Patrick Rafter (AUS)
2002 Pete Sampras (USA)
2003 Todd Martin (USA)
2004 Sjeng Schalken (NED)
2005 Jonas Björkman (SWE)
2006 James Blake (USA)
2007 Jonas Björkman (SWE)
Three Swedes with ten participations each
The Swedish tennis players seem to like the ARAG WORLD TEAM CUP at the Düsseldorf Rochusclub best. Three Swedes competed ten times each at the World Team Championship: Anders Jarryd (1982-1993), Stefan Edberg (1984-1995) and since this year also Jonas Bjorkman (1994-2007). US American Pete Sampras follows with nine participations (1992-2002).
The Swedes entered just 26 players at 26 participations. The USA and Germany, the only nations that have played in Duesseldorf every year since the inauguration in 1978 of the ARAG World Team Championship, have been represented by 47 and 34 players respec-tively at 30 participations. Spain played with 34 players in 29 tournaments. Duesseldorf (pps)