Nadal, Osaka Claim Top Honours at 2021 Laureus Sports Awards
Rafael Nadal won his fourth Laureus award as a recognition for his 13th French Open and record-equalling 20th major.
Tennis maverick Rafael Nadal has clinched the Sportsman of the Year award at the 2021 Laureus World Sports Awards while fellow tennis star Naomi Osaka bagged the top women's honour.
Japan's Osaka has been riding a wave of success having secured her second U.S. Open title last year. World number two Nadal brought home his fourth Laureus trophy as he was felicitated for his 13th French Open and record-equalling 20th major.
"The rest of the sportsmen probably deserve the trophy the same as me, but this was the year for me and I can’t be happier. Winning the French Open and equalling the 20th Grand Slam of Roger Federer has been an unforgettable moment. It means a lot to equal my great rival, but at the same time, my great friend." Nadal said after receiving the award.
Osaka was also recognised for her anti-racism stance particularly at the US Open where she wore face masks bearing the names of Black Americans who lost their lives as a result of police barbarity or were victims of racial injustice.
"Regarding my activism on the court, I think it is important to use my voice, because for me I feel like I often hold back a lot and worry about what people think of me, but you know if you have a platform it is very important you use it," said Osaka.
Bayern Munich, winners of the UEFA Champions League and Bundesliga, took away the Laureus World Team of the Year Award. Liverpool and Egypt attacker Salah was accorded the Sporting Inspiration Award for his philanthropic work, chiefly in his home town of Nagrig.
Hamilton was named the inaugural winner of the Laureus Athlete Advocate of the Year award for his firm stand for racial justice, sporting a Black Lives Matter helmet and black race suit and taking a knee at each Grand Prix.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was handed the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award after marshalling the Kansas City Chiefs in 2020 to their first Super Bowl appearance and victory in 50 years. Last but not the least, tennis legend Billie Jean King was honoured with the Laureus Lifetime Achievement award for her decades of glorious commitment and service to the sport.
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