Tennis world erupts over Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka news

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka, pictured here at the 'Rally for Relief' in Melbourne in 2020.
Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka at the 'Rally for Relief' in Melbourne in 2020. (AAP Image/Scott Barbour)

Tennis superstars Rafael Nadal and Noami Osaka have been announced as the Laureus Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year.

World No.2 Nadal won his fourth Laureus award on Thursday, recognised for winning his 13th French Open and record-equalling 20th major in 2020.

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Fellow World No.2 Osaka, who won the US Open for the second time and now has four majors, is now a two-time Laureus winner.

"Winning the French Open and equalling the 20th grand slam of Roger Federer has been an unforgettable moment," said Nadal.

"It means a lot to equal my great rival, but at the same time, my great friend."

Naomi Osaka and Rafael Nadal, pictured here with their awards.
Naomi Osaka and Rafael Nadal were named athletes of the year. Image: Getty

Osaka was also recognised for her anti-racism stance, particularly at the US Open where she wore face masks bearing the names of Black Americans who died as a result of police clashes or were victims of racial injustice.

"Regarding my activism on the court, I think it is important to use my voice," said the Japanese star.

"Because for me I feel like I often hold back a lot and worry about what people think of me, but you know if you have a platform it is very important you use it."

The tennis world erupted over the double honour.

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Mo Salah and Lewis Hamilton also honoured

Bayern Munich, winners of the UEFA Champions League and Bundesliga, won the Laureus World Team of the Year Award.

Liverpool and Egypt attacker Salah won the Sporting Inspiration Award for his support of various charities, many in his home town of Nagrig.

He is also a powerful advocate of women's rights in the Middle East.

Hamilton was named the inaugural winner of the Laureus Athlete Advocate of the Year award for his support for racial justice, wearing a Black Lives Matter helmet and black race suit and taking a knee at each Grand Prix.

Canadian snowboarder Max Parrot was one of the most emotional winners.

He received the Laureus World Comeback of the Year after fighting back from cancer to win X-Games gold medals.

Patrick Mahomes took the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award after leading the Kansas City Chiefs in 2020 to their first Super Bowl appearance and win in 50 years.

Tennis giant Billie Jean King was honoured with the Laureus Lifetime Achievement award.

While Chris Nikic, who became the first person with Down's Syndrome to complete a full Ironman, received the most votes in the global Laureus Sporting Moment award public vote.

with AFP

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