Rafael Nadal earns Laureus Award nomination instead of Novak Djokovic

Established in 2000, the Laureus World Sports Award honors the most prominent athletes in different categories. The first two editions of the Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsman of the Year went to Tiger Woods, followed by Michael Schumacher and Lance Armstrong. Roger Federer took charge from 2005, rattling off four straight awards to write history and taking full advantage of his prime years. Usain Bolt also secured four honors, together with Novak Djokovic, whose most recent crown came in 2019 following a stellar 2018 season that saw his return to the ATP throne. Rafael Nadal earned the Laureus Award in 2011 after lifting three Major crowns in 2010, with another chance to claim the honor last year for his 2019 performance. Nadal battled against Lewis Hamilton, Eliud Kipchoge, Marc Marquez, Lionel Messi and Tiger Woods.

In the end, Lewis Hamilton and Lionel Messi shared the honor for the first time, finishing ahead of Rafa and preventing the third straight crown for tennis after it went to Roger Federer in 2018 and Novak Djokovic in 2019. The 2021 Sportsman of the Year Award winner will be revealed in May, and Nadal is again in contention after winning the 20th Major crown at Roland Garros last October.

Rafael Nadal will chase the second Laureus Award in May.

The Spaniard faces tough opponents in Joshua Cheptegei, Armand Duplantis, Lewis Hamilton, LeBron James and Robert Lewandowski, hoping to gather enough votes and secure his first Laureus Award in a decade. The news came as a bit of surprise, as Rafa wasn’t the best player of the previous season, finishing it almost 2200 points behind Novak Djokovic.

Both Novak and Rafa claimed one Major title in 2020, although the Serb added two Masters 1000 trophies to his tally and the ATP Cup, beating Nadal in the title clash at the beginning of the season. Nadal’s proudest moment came at Roland Garros, where he won his 13th Parisian trophy and the 20th Major overall, becoming the second player in history to achieve that after Roger Federer. That was enough to put Rafa ahead of Novak as the Laureus candidate, hoping for a better run than a year ago when he finished third. Naomi Osaka, Dominic Thiem and Iga Swiatek, other Major champions from 2020, are also among the nominees.

Tennis – Nadal finished second in 2020 behind Novak Djokovic, winning his 20th Major title at Roland Garros

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