MONACO – South Africa’s track queen Caster Semenya may have missed out on the most prestigious accolade of her career, but the country of her birth will lay claim to Swiss tennis great and the biggest winner of the night, Roger Federer, at the Laureus World Sports Awards held in Monaco on Tuesday.
Semenya came narrowly close, but was pipped at the end to the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award by US tennis sensation Serena Williams, who picked up her fifth award.
But it was Federer, who is widely considered the greatest men’s tennis player of the Open era, who stole the night when he was crowned the World Sportsman of the Year and Comeback of the Year.
The two awards have now made Federer the most decorated Laureus recipient of all time, with a record six awards – five of them being Sportsman of the Year prizes and the one Comeback of the Year.
The 36-year-old Federer, whose mother Lynette is South African, secured a 19th Grand Slam title when he won Wimbledon last year and went on to win an unprecedented 20th title when he was crowned the oldest winner of the Australian Open earlier this year.
Federer has underlined his dominance and achievements over two decades on the tennis court by returning back to the number one ranking in the world recently.
Federer has won a record eight Wimbledon titles, a joint-record six Australian Open titles, a record five consecutive US Open titles and one French Open title, is one of eight men to have captured a career Grand Slam, has reached a record 30 men’s singles Grand Slam finals, including 10 in a row from the 2005 Wimbledon Championships to the 2007 US Open.
Federer has also won a record six ATP World Tour Finals, 27 ATP World Tour Masters 1 000, and a record 20 ATP World Tour 500 tournaments.
Laureus Awards Winners:
• Roger Federer: World No. 1 tennis star receives Sportsman and Comeback Awards to become most decorated winner in the history of Laureus
• Serena Williams: Wins Sportswoman crown – her fifth Laureus Award
• Sergio Garcia: Wins Breakthrough Award after Masters success – his 74th Major attempt
• Team of the Year: Four-time F1 Constructors Champions Mercedes-AMG Petronas
• JJ Watt: Receives Laureus Sporting Inspiration Award for his remarkable fundraising efforts after Houston was devastated by Hurricane Harvey
• Laureus Sport for Good Award: Active Communities Network
• Francesco Totti wins Academy Exceptional Achievement Award and is inducted into Laureus Academy alongside fellow one-club man Ryan Giggs
• Edwin Moses honoured by Laureus Academy with Lifetime Achievement Award
• Swiss triple world champion wheelchair racer Marcel Hug wins Disability Award
• Vendee Globe-winning sailor Armel Le Cléac’h receives Action Sportsperson accolade
• Laureus Best Sporting Moment of the Year won by Chapecoense, the only Award voted for by sports fans around the world