Spain’s Tennis star Rafael Nadal was named the 2021 Laureus Sportsman of the year on Thursday ahead of Ugandan runner Joshua Cheptegei.
Nadal equalled Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles by claiming his 13th French Open crown to make the nominees.
Last year, Cheptegei in turn smashed the 5 km world records on road and track in Monaco before doing the same in the 10k in Valencia.
This was Nadal’s fourth Laureus honour; “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,” he said.
“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. It’s something very special after all the history we have had together on and off court.”
Naomi Osaka claimed the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award.
Britain’s Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton claimed the inaugural Athlete Advocate of the Year Award for his involvement in the fight against racism.
Laureus World Sports Awards 2021: List of winners
Sportsman of the Year Award: Rafael Nadal
Sportswoman of the Year Award: Naomi Osaka
Team of the Year Award: Bayern Munich
Breakthrough of the Year Award: Patrick Mahomes
Comeback of the Year Award: Max Parrot
Sport for Good Award: KICKFORMORE by KICKFAIR
Lifetime Achievement Award: Billie Jean King
Athlete Advocate of the Year Award: Lewis Hamilton
Sporting Inspiration Award: Mohamed Salah
Sporting Moment of the Year Award: Chris Nikic