2014 World Fair Play Trophy Winners
The International Fair Play Committee recognises the greatest ambassadors of fair play who act in the spirit of sportsmanship either on and off the sporting field. Let's get to know the touching stories of these exeptional personalities.
1. Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Trophy
ACT OF FAIR PLAY
Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Trophy
On 22 January 2014 in Melbourne, Łukasz Kubot and Swedish tennis player Robert Lindstedt were playing against the Belarusian-Russian double, Maks Mirny and Mikhail Youzhny. It was the doubles quarterfinal of the Australian Open, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the tennis calendar. During the final and decisive third set, with Kubot and Linstedt leading 3:1 and at a breakpoint, something unusual happened: the ball hit by Kubot, standing close to the net, went to the opponents' part of the court, but due to the strong spin on the ball, it returned immediately to Kubot and Lindstedt's part. As Mirny was not able to hit the ball in-between, the point went to the Kubot-Lindstedt pair according to the rules. Nobody protested and the audience was applauding. At this point, however, Kubot made an unexpected fair play gesture by holding up two fingers to the umpire indicating that he had touched the ball twice. He added that he had struck the ball in a way that was against the rules: he touched it first with his hip before hitting it with his racquet, thus he asked for the point to be granted to the opponents. At such an important moment during a competition, Łukasz Kubot was able to demonstrate that fair play is the spirit of champions: "I can't imagine behaving in any other way". A few days later Łukasz Kubot and Robert Lindstedt won the Grand Slam tournament.