Players who are respectful act in the way of appreciation, are courteous to others, are focused on the best in others and honor the rules of game. Respect is a hallmark of many great champions.

"Respect all, fear none."

"Play with respect. Win with grace." – Roger Federer

"A lion never roars after a kill." – Dean Smith


  • Respect yourself, your coaches and the game.
  • Act in a respectful manner. To be appreciative for what others do for you and giving you the opportunity to play the game you love.
  • Enhance performance through respectful actions such as being prepared to play even if you think you will win easily (and know expressing that through your actions). 
  • Respect one’s self. Have the ability to treat yourself well and demonstrate self-control.
  • Respect others. Appreciate and truly understand that you need other people to do what you enjoy – that includes tournament officials, ball girls and boys, and opponents.
  • Consistently see the good in others and avoid downgrading the other person because you know no one is perfect and everyone has strengths and weaknesses.
  • Understand that respect also means respecting your family, which you do through your actions on the court.
  • Not be influenced by the prospects of winning and losing. Tim Smyczek showed great respect to Rafael Nadal and to the sport of tennis by doing the right thing (see example below). He may have lost the match but he showed great character not only in that one situation, but throughout the match.
  • Learn from consummate respectful players, like Nadal. Rafa displays a great deal of respect in how he talks about his future opponents. He always finds a way to talk about what they are doing well and how he needs to be ready to play.
  • Ultimately respect the game of tennis. You should want tennis to be better in your community because you played, whether that is by inspiring a child to play the game because of the enjoyment he or she sees in your tennis, or being a good doubles partner, the game is better because of the people playing it.


Tim Smyczek battled with Rafael Nadal for more than four hours at the 2015 Australian Open. Coming through the qualifying draw, Smyczek was playing some of the greatest tennis of his career. Toe-to-toe with the 14-time Grand Slam champion, Smyczek pushed Nadal deep in to the fifth set.

With Nadal serving at 6-5, a spectator shouted as Nadal was about to make contact with the ball, resulting in a fault. A second serve was a great opportunity for Smyczek to try and get a chance to break. But Smyczek showed great respect for the game and for Nadal, telling Nadal to retake his first serve. Nadal did and won the point and, eventually, the game. Still, Smyczek had won the respect of all who watched the match.

“What he did at the end of the fifth [set] is just amazing,” Nadal said. “Very few players can do that after four hours something of a match, at 6-5, love-30. So I just will say thanks to him because he’s a great example, what he did today.”

Tim Smyczek is a great example of sportsmanship being more important than winning. His respect for playing the game the right way is a great example for us all.