Federer, Henin Edged for 2007 AP Athlete of the Year Awards

by Staff | December 22nd, 2007, 7:21 pm

World No. 1s Roger Federer and Justine Henin both finished runner-up on Friday when the Associated Press named their men’s and women’s Athlete of the Year awards.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was named the Male Athlete of the Year, and Lorena Ochoa, who won eight golf tournaments, including the Women’s British Open, won Female Athlete of the Year.

“I play in a team sport,” Brady said of the honor. “Everybody I play with is responsible for what each of us accomplishes as individuals and for what we all accomplish as a team.”

Brady received 51 votes, 18 more than the runner-up Federer, who in 2007 won his fifth straight Wimbledon and fourth straight US Open title, and was also slighted once again for Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year.

While the argument remains whether golf is a sport, Ochoa became the fifth straight golfer to capture the women’s award, and had 71 votes to the runner-up Henin’s 17.

Henin missed the Australian Open while going through a divorce, but captured major championships at the French Open, US Open, and the year-end WTA Championships which pits the Top 8 players in the world against one another. The Belgian also captured titles on all four surfaces.

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15 Comments for Federer, Henin Edged for 2007 AP Athlete of the Year Awards

Andy Says:

How more provincial can it get?

Everybody in the entire world knows what RF has achieved. Everybody but the provincial US. Laughable!

Nobody in the entire world gives a hoot about football. Everybody but the provincial US. Laughable!

Not electing RF demonstrates the total disconnect of the American public with true greatness.

anon Says:

Andy shouldn’t use big words if he doesn’t know their meaning.

Harlock Says:

So it’s hardly surprising. While I would agree with suggestions that had, say, Andy Roddick or James Blake accomplished what Federer has they would surely have received the award, the fact is that the New England Patriots are in a position in American Football that is comparable to Federer’s position in tennis – they are right on the brink of being universally acknowledged as the greatest dynasty. Is Federer more deserving than Brady? Yes, of course, but it is closer than you might think. Football coaching legend John Madden called Brady the greatest he has ever seen, at any position.

Charlie Says:

Brady was right, he plays in a TEAM sport, so sad for his offensive line, wide receivers and protective backs to not get included. Maybe Roger should take up football to start getting recognized by the AP.

Lefty Serve Says:

Not all Americans are morons or are happy with this decision. However, America is heavily slanted toward its “major” sports (Football, Baseball, Basketball and to a lesser extent, Hockey). Tennis and Golf are “country club sports” and take a back seat. Sharapova would win over Henin if it was on a ballot as most Americans do not understand tennis and would vote for the flashy tall blonde.. But there a lot of American tennis players who are not happy with this, and while they respect the NFL, understand what Roger has accomplished. As for Justine, how can you compare her athleticism with a golfer?

sensationalsafin Says:

The Patriots are amazing.

Wayne Says:


Tennis is a sport. Golf is a game.

Golf is what tennis players do to relax – it’s that easy. There is no physical effort compared to running on court swinging away.

About Ochoa winning. She doesn’t have to dodge Serena Williams on grass slamming a tennis ball at her neck ala poor Justine in the quarterfinal round. Golf has doesn’t have to do with 1-1 physical competition. There is no person trying to take he/she out of their comfort zone.

Let’s not even get into the sort of non-media pressure the likes of Roger, Justine etc… face for every loss or set loss. The golf media is not on a players case. Where’s the mental pressure compared to tennis players.

Sheba Says:

Congratulations to Mr. Brady. He’s definitely a great athlete, and deserves the honour for his personal prowess out on the football field, but like he himself said, he plays a team sport. That means that it’s not just him who has to decide what to do next in a tight situation. Federer on the other hand has no one but himself for the duration of the 5 sets. Hell, NFL even lets your coach get a word in, whereas in tennis if your coach as much as gestures as you then you’ll probably be fined. In a way its sad that people expect so much of Roger now that even something as incredible as winning 3 majors + the year end championships is not enough to get him the Athlete of the Year gong.

emari Says:

Roger is the undisputed KING WHO RULES THE COURT!! so sad that his unbelievable, sustained dominance in tennis does not merit the deserved accolades and recognition of true greatness by the provincial US.

Travis Says:

Of course Federer will be looked over again. Its become routine and laughable and its too the point that people know longer care for Si or any other silly award. They might as well call it… The American Biased award. At least then it would be the truth.

Alfredo Says:

I wonder who would have won this honor, if Mr. Federer was an American. Thanks god he is not, and therefore one of the best gentlemen our sport has ever seen.
What he has done in the last 3 years has never been seen in the sport of tennis.
He has done this with class and respect for his opponents.

Go Roger.

Chip Says:

i can understand Brady getting this with the patriots undefeated and breaking records. i am more bewildered by Justine coming in a distant second. she only lost 4 matches this year. the fact a golfer won for the ladies for the sixth time in a row shows that people just arent paying attention to womens sports at ap. correct me if i am wrong but didnt ochoa win her first and only major this year. justine won 2 and they were not her first two, plus the year end masters. this should have been a landslide for Henin.

Oh well, it makes sense because AP only does this for a hobby. Whats that you say? They get paid to make these kind of decisions? No way!!!

mary Says:

I think they should stop disgracing themselves and just stop nominating since they can’t bring themselves to recognize his accomplishments.

johnnhoj Says:

To hell with American mainstream viewership. It would probably come at the too-high cost of Federer dropping the high level and consistency of his game. I kind of prefer the relative remoteness of being a tennis fan in the U.S. It’s as if I’m in some secret society where the most astounding revelations are reserved for a select few (slight exaggeration). There’s just something more intellectually stimulating about watching high-level tennis, and football simply doesn’t do that. I suppose there needs to be an emotional bond via home-state/town excitement or some such condition. I even prefer alpine slalom skiing to football. The point is that it’s there for those who can appreciate it.
As long as the televised matches aren’t interrupted and the sport is accorded its proper airtime over various channels, it’s cool. If the powers that be decide to preempt, then they die!

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