Photo by Paul Zimmer
NEWPORT, R.I., U.S.A., November 17, 2013 – Longtime Serbian Davis Cup team member Nenad Zimonjic has been honored with the 2013 Davis Cup Award of Excellence. The award was presented during a special on-court ceremony at the 2013 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final between Serbia and the Czech Republic in Belgrade, Serbia on Saturday, November 16. It was presented by ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti and Serbian tennis great Slobodan Zivojinovic, a past recipient of the award.
The annual award is given jointly by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and it recognizes a Davis Cup player, past or present, who demonstrates a strong commitment to the spirit of the competition.
“Nenad has been a key component of Serbia’s Davis Cup team for 19 years and an inspirational team member,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. “We are pleased to recognize Nenad’s contributions to the competition here in front of his hometown fans by honoring him with the 2013 Davis Cup Award of Excellence.”
Zimonjic has been part of the Serbian Davis Cup team for nearly two decades, with his first nomination in 1995. In 2007, he helped Serbia qualify for the World Group for the first time, partnering with Novak Djokovic for a doubles victory in the play-offs against Australia. In 2010, Zimonjic was a member of the Serbian team that clinched its first-ever Davis Cup title, defeating France 3-2 in a home final before enthusiastic fans at Belgrade Arena.
This year, Zimonjic has played a major part in Serbia’s second entry into the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final. In April, he partnered with Ilija Bozoljac to win an intense five-set match versus the No. 1-ranked Bryan Brothers, 7-6(5) 7-6(1) 5-7 4-6 15-13. The win clinched the victory for Serbia over the United States, and sent the team into the semifinals, where they defeated Canada.
Zimonjic has played a record 45 ties for his country, with an overall winning record of 40-22, including 13 singles victories and 27 doubles victories.
On the ATP World Tour, Zimonjic has won 49 doubles titles including three this season. He is a seven-time Grand Slam champion, having won two Wimbledon doubles titles, one French Open doubles title, and two mixed doubles titles each at the Australian Open and the French Open. Zimonjic has achieved the world No. 1 ranking in doubles, and has held a season-ending ranking in the top-20 every year for the past nine seasons, highlighted by season-ending rankings in the world top-10 every year from 2007-2011.
The Davis Cup Award of Excellence was developed to recognize and honor an individual who best represents the ideals of the competition’s founder, Dwight Davis. Each year the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the ITF present the award to a past or present Davis Cup team member who is from the country or region where the final is held.
The Davis Cup Award of Excellence was inaugurated in 2001 by the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the ITF. Past recipients include 2012 recipient Ivan Lendl, an integral Czechoslovakian Davis Cup team member; Emilio Sanchez of Spain in 2011; Slobodan Zivojinovic of Serbia in 2010; Manuel Orantes of Spain in 2009; Guillermo Vilas of Argentina in 2008; Stan Smith of the United States in 2007; Alex Metreveli of Russia in 2006; Miloslav Mecir of Slovak Republic and Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia in 2005; Manolo Santana of Spain in 2004; John Newcombe of Australia in 2003; Pierre Darmon of France in 2002; and Neale Fraser of Australia in 2001.