Roger Federer, the eternal fans' favourite, is training in Dubai with an aim to play in the Australian Open early next year. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Former world number one and Dubai’s favourite son, Roger Federer, has sent out a special message to his fans after being voted the fans’ favourite singles men’s player for 18th straight year at the yearend ATP Awards.

It was an amazing achievement for Federer after being the fans’ favourite for yet another year in a season that saw him compete just a handful of tournaments. The all-British pairing of Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski claimed their first fan-voted honour in the men’s doubles.

In his characteristic charming style, Federer – who is presently practising in Dubai with a hope of playing at the 2021 Australian Open from February 8 – has reached out to his fans.

“Hey, it’s Roger here. I hope everybody is doing well in a difficult year. I just wanted to thank you all for winning the fans’ favourite award this year again,” Federer said in his short video clip.

“Thanks to the ATP, to all the tennis fans out there voting for me, believing in me and wanting to see me back on the Tour. I am training hard in making that possible. I hope I can play in front of all of you guys again very, very soon,” he added.

“Happy holidays to everybody and happy new year of course. Let’s hope it all gets better next year. Let’s be patient for now and I can’t wait to see you all again very soon, so take care and thank you, thank you. And I will see you soon. Bye, bye,” Federer concluded.

The Swiss star has not played at a Major since playing at Melbourne Park earlier this year. Since then, he has undergone knee surgery twice, but has not ruled himself out of the tournament scheduled to start in Melbourne from February 8.

Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley has recently told media that he is hopeful the 39-year-old Swiss ace will mark his return on the tour in Melbourne. “He did say to me the other day that the February the 8 date is probably a better option for him, as it just gives him a little more time to prepare,” Tiley said.

Nadal, who claimed a historic 13th Roland Garros crown in 2020, has been voted by fellow players as the winner of the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for the third year in-a-row and the fourth time overall.

Seventeen-year-old Carlos Alcaraz, a fellow Spaniard, took home the ‘Newcomer of the Year’ honour after a breakthrough season in which he achieved a career-high No. 136 in the FedEx ATP Rankings and lifted three ATP Challenger Tour trophies.

Carlos Alcaraz, Rafael Nadal, Vasek Pospisil, Andrey Rublev and Frances Tiafoe were among the other winners in the 2020 ATP Awards that also celebrates Novak Djokovic and the pairing of Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares as the year-end No.1s.