Tennis made a clean sweep of the top Laureus World Sports Awards as World No. 1s Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams were crowned the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year respectively in Berlin on Monday.
Both of them had an exceptionally dominating 2015 season that saw them clinch three Grand Slam titles each. While the Serb won a staggering 82 out of 88 matches, Serena amassed 53 wins against just four losses.
Third win for both Djokovic and Serena
This was the third such Laureus trophy for both of them with Djokovic having previously won in 2012 and 2015 while Serena accomplished the feat in 2003 and 2010.
For the 34-year-old American, this was a historic achievement as she broke a tie with Russian pole-vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva to become the first ever three-time winner of the coveted Sportswoman of the Year Award.
Watched on by his coach Boris Becker, who is a member of the Laureus Academy, the 11-time Major winner Djokovic received his award from F1 driver Nico Rosberg. The 28-year-old beat competition from a bevy of stars that included Lionel Messi, Usain Bolt, Lewis Hamilton, Stephen Curry and Jordan Spieth.
Serena too had to fight off a strong challenge from fellow nominees Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Carli Lloyd among others.
Spieth gets Breakthrough award
After losing out to Djokovic, 22-year-old golfer Jordan Spieth did not return empty-handed as he won in the Breakthrough of the Year category. The young American made waves last year as he captured both the Masters and the US Open titles in an incredible breakthrough season.
All Blacks take team honours
The Team of the Year honours was scooped up by New Zealand’s All Blacks national men’s rugby team who surged to the World Cup title for the third time in 2015.
They had another reason to celebrate as captain Dan Carter was selected for the Comeback of the Year award. After having suffered a tear in his groin tendon that forced him out of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Carter made a stunning comeback four years later that saw him being named the Man of the Match in the 2015 final against Australia.
Niki Lauda gets Lifetime Achievement
Former three-time Formula One world champion Niki Lauda received the Lifetime Achievement prize while German triathlete and 2015 Ironman World Championship winner Jan Frodeno was named the Action Sportsperson of the Year.
Brazilian Paralympic swimmer Daniel Dias, who won a whopping seven gold medals at the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships, was bestowed upon the ‘Sportsperson of the Year with a disability’ prize.
Cruyff honoured posthumously
Legendary Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff, who passed away in March, was posthumously given the Spirit of Sport award for his efforts in helping underprivileged children. His son Jordi accepted the award.