Novak Djokovic pipped the likes of Usain Bolt and Lionel Messi to win the 'Sportsman of the Year' trophy for a third time, while Serena Williams clinched the top honour in the women's category at the Laureus World Awards here today.
Djokovic, who won this award in 2012 and '15, walked away with it for a second successive time after clinching three Grand Slams – Australian, Wimbledon and US Open – last year. He was also the finalist in the French Open.
"I am very proud of it. It wouldn't have been possible without the great team that I have. I am grateful to the love and passion of tennis that brought me here. Sports has inspired me in so many different ways. I dedicate this award to two people who have inspired. I want to thank them for their legacy, My Nicki Lauda and Mr Johan Cryuff," Djokovic said after being presented the trophy by current F1 leader Nico Rosberg.
Messi, who had been nominated for a fifth time, once again lost out on the top award.
"It's probably a glitch we need to correct. Somebody like Messi ought to win this award. Maybe football being a team sport comes in the way," Laureus academy member Steve Waugh said before the ceremony.
Williams was the overwhelming favourite after securing a record 10th nomination and thanks to her three Grand Slams last season, the American notched up her third 'Sportswoman of the Year' Laureus trophy.
Sportsman of the Year: Novak Djokovic (Serbia, Tennis); Sportswoman of the Year: Serena Williams (US, Tennis); Team of the Year: All Blacks (New Zealand, Rugby); Breakthrough of the Year: Jordan Spieth (US, Golf); Comeback of the Year: Dan Carter (New Zealand, Rugby); Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Daniel Dias (Brazil, swimming); Action Sportsperson of the Year: Jan Frodeno (Germany, Ironman Triathlon).
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:45 PM IST