February 19, 2019 9:39:25 am
World No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic and American gymnast Simone Biles were the top winners at the Laureus Sports Awards in Monaco on Monday night (February 18). Djokovic made a winning return to courts after recovering from a surgery won two majors in 2018 – Wimbledon and US Open – before continuing his form to lift the Australian Open in January.
With his record seventh title at Melbourne Park, Djokovic moved ahead of Pete Sampras into third on the men’s all-time list of Grand Slam winners (15), just two behind Spaniard Rafa Nadal. Swiss Roger Federer continues to lead with 20.
A night to remember! Congrats to my love and all of the nominees and winners. What a way to celebrate the diversity, joy, and power of sport to break down barriers and change the world for better. Sport for good, always 🙏🥳🎾❤️🌟 @djokernole @LaureusSport #Laureus19 pic.twitter.com/jiVMURPCvE
— Jelena Djokovic (@jelenadjokovic) February 18, 2019
“I did think about leaving tennis,” Djokovic said on Monday. “I did not find myself in a good balance. It took me several months to find that purpose and meaning again. This award reflects and symbolises this journey. Reflecting on the journey it seems like a fairytale story.”
Multiple Olympic champion Biles became the all-time leading world gymnastics championship gold medal winner with a record 14 golds. With a combined 20 medals at the worlds, Biles, who has also won four Olympic golds, tied Russia’s Svetlana Khorkina for the most by a female gymnast in world championships. Her all-around world title was her fourth, also a record.
WHAT A SPECIAL MOMENT!
“Thank you all so much, I’m going to miss it.”
— #Laureus19 (@LaureusSport) February 18, 2019
The Comeback of the Year award went to US golfer Tiger Woods who shut even his harshest critics when he earned what some consider to be one of the greatest victories of his career at last year’s Tour Championship season finale.
Woods, who collected the last of his 14 majors at the 2008 US Open, has had plenty of health-related setbacks, having to endure several knee and back surgeries, and his career seemed to be headed for a close in 2017.
Japan’s world number one female tennis player Naomi Osaka, who lifted her first Grand Slam title at US Open last year, and went on to claim the 2019 Australian Open, won the Breakthrough of the Year award.
Linsey Vonn, who retired during the recent Alpine skiing world championships , took home the Spirit of Sport Award, given to an athlete for relentless dedication to his or her career, and France football team was honoured for winning the World Cup in July.
Laureus Sports Award winners
Sportsman of the Year: Novak Djokovic (Tennis)
Sportswoman of the Year: Simone Biles (Gymnast)
Comeback of the Year: Tiger Woods (Golf)
Breakthrough of the Year: Naomi Osaka (Tennis)
Sportsperson of the Year with disability: Henrieta Farkkasova (Skiing)
Action Sportsperson of the Year: Chloe Kim (Snowboarding)
Team of the Year: France football team
Laureus Sporting Moment of the Year: Xia Boyu
Exceptional Achievement Award: Eliud Kipchoge (Athletics)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Arsene Wenger (Football)
Spirit for Sport Award: Lindsey Vonn (Alpine Skiing)
Sport for Good Award: Yuwa (Women’s football in Jharkhand)
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