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Lapentti Receives National Award

Nicolas Lapentti© KC PressNicolas Lapentti led Ecuador back into the 2010 Davis Cup World Group.

Davis Cup hero Nicolas Lapentti has been named Sportsman of the Year in Ecuador after topping a poll run by El Universo newspaper. Football team, Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito (LDU), was also a winner after being crowned champions of the Copa Sudamericana, the second most important team tournament in South America.

Lapentti and LDU received the awards during the traditional Champions dinner at the Oro Verde hotel in Guayaquil.

"This trophy is great motivation keep trying to make Ecuador shine and to keep the flag flying around the world,” said Lapentti.  “It is a great honour to receive this prestigious prize.”

Lapentti was an integral member of the Ecuadorian Davis Cup team in the World Group playoffs against Brazil. The former World No. 4 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings defeated Marcos Daniel in an epic fifth rubber, prevailing in five sets after four hours and 43 minutes. Lapentti was undefeated in Ecuador’s 2009 Davis Cup campaign, with victories in singles over Canada, Peru and Brazil.

The 33-year-old Lapentti had announced his retirement last year, but the victory over Brazil inspired the Guayaquil native to continue in the 2010 ATP World Tour season and represent Ecuador in the Davis Cup World Group.

Lapentti has the record for most five-set victories in Davis Cup history, having recorded 13 triumphs - one more than Henri Cochet of France and Nicola Pietrangeli from Italy.

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