The Laureus Sports Awards, which are often described as the Oscars of sport, took place on Monday evening in Berlin. Among other greats, our favourite tennis star, Serena Williams was awarded the very well-deserved Sportswoman of the Year Award and Novak Djokovic was named Sportsman of the Year, beating out Lionel Messi and Lewis Hamilton.
This is the third time Williams has been honoured with this award, having won it in 2003 and 2010, and this was her 10th nomination. Both Djokovic and Williams won three of the four Grand Slams in 2015.
Williams did not attend the event.
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“[Djokovic] had a great year again. He has played 88 matches, won 82. He won three out of the four Grand Slams, reached the final of the French Open, he’s won seven other tournaments. Very few players, if any, had a year like that,” Boris Becker, Djokovic’s coach, said in a statement.
Another winner on the night was Lionel Messi who received the Team Athlete of the Year Award a day after scoring his 500th goal.
After winning the Rugby World Cup last year, it was almost a given that New Zealand’s All Blacks were going to walk away with the Team of the Year Award. Dan Carter, the All Black’s captain, also received the Comeback of the Year Award.
Jordan Spieth (22) walked away with the Breakthrough of the Year Award after winning both the Masters and US Open in 2015.
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‘Thank you so much to the Laureus Academy. Just to know a couple of you is an honour. For me it’s unique. We’re used to being recognised in the golfing community, but this award recognises us around the world to all of sport and it’s something that’s very difficult to put into words,” he said in his acceptance speech.
Three-time Formula-1 World Champion Niki Lauda received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the sport over the course of his career. Lauda is now the chairman of the Mercedes team.
The late football legend Johann Cruyff, who lost his battle with cancer in March 2015, was also honoured for his contribution to the sport and his efforts in leading sports-related projects for the underprivileged around the world.