London, Oct. 25 (ANI): Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer has beaten other international sporting icons to be named as Australian sports' fans 'most popular athlete' for the third year in running, a new survey has revealed.
According to a gemba Asset Study (gES), which surveys Australians' attitudes and opinions towards more than 200 Australian and international sporting icons, Federer was the most preferred athlete.
"Australians are very attracted to athletes who are seen as competitive and humble and Roger embodies these attributes," The Age quoted gemba director Rob Mills, as saying.
According to the paper, Federer, who will be top seed to add to his record six World Tour Finals successes at the season-ending event in London next month, once again comes out on top in the survey for the period between January and September 2012.
"Roger has consistently tracked well in Australia over the past three years," Mills said.
Despite retiring from Test cricket five years ago, former fast bowler Glenn McGrath ranks second - and is the top Australian in the survey, the paper said.
Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal ranks third ahead of cricketer Ricky Ponting, whose asset power remains strong despite his axing as Australian Test and one-day captain last year, the survey said.
Last year's Tour de France winner Cadel Evans comes in fifth, ahead of Ponting's successor Michael Clarke, it added.
Samantha Stosur, the 2011 US Open tennis champion, is the top female at No.7, with cricketer Mike Hussey, Formula One driver Mark Webber and recently retired Belgian tennis star Kim Clijsters rounding out the top 10, the paper added. (ANI)