World No.1 Novak Djokovic has been dealt a stunning blow after being overlooked for the Laureus World Sports Awards in favour of his great rival, Rafael Nadal.
Established in 2000, the awards honour the most prominent athletes in different categories, with organisers unable to find a spot for Djokovic, despite his record-breaking feats in 2020.
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Djokovic last won the award in 2019 after an incredible 2018 season that saw him cement his status as the number one men's player in tennis.
However, he's been surprisingly overlooked for this year's list in favour of Nadal, who famously clinched his 13th French Open crown in 2020.
Nadal - the Laureus Award winner in 2011 - is chasing his second honour after equalling Roger Federer's all-time grand slam record of 20 major trophies.
The 2021 Sportsman of the Year Award winner will be revealed in May, with Nadal up against a stellar field that includes Bayern Munich's world footballer of the year Robert Lewandowski, Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton, Uganda's 5,000 and 10,000 metres world record holder Joshua Cheptegei, and pole vault barrier breaker Armand Duplantis.
By his extraordinarily lofty standards, Djokovic may have been slightly unhappy with just the oner major - his eighth Australian Open title - in 2020.
The 18-time major winner of course made it a record-extending nine titles at Melbourne Park by winning this year's Australian Open.
Major trophies aside, it was still an incredibly successful 2020 for Djokovic though.
The 33-year-old led Serbia to the ATP Cup and also re-wrote history with his second Cincinnati Masters title.
Djokovic's 35th Masters trophy equalled Nadal's record for most ATP Masters 1000 titles, seeing him become the first man in history to complete multiple Masters sets.
While the Serb lost to Nadal in the French Open final, Djokovic became just the second man after Roger Federer to surpass 300 weeks as World No.1.
Naomi Osaka part of strong women's list
Fresh from her triumph at the Australian Open, Naomi Osaka has been nominated for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award.
The Japanese star, who was also champion at the US Open in 2020, has now won four grand slams following her weekend victory in Melbourne, leading to her recognition as one of the five nominees in the annual global sports awards.
Osaka said she was honoured to receive recognition at a time when "sport can make a big difference in so many ways and really help to change the world".
Osaka faces Lyon's Champions League-winning captain Wendie Renard, WNBA Finals MVP Breanna Stewart, double world cycling gold medallist Anna van der Breggen, World Cup skiing champion Federica Brignone and London Marathon winner Brigid Kosgei for the big prize.
Bayern Munich, the LA Lakers and Hamilton's Mercedes outfit are all up for the World Team of the Year Award, as are Liverpool, who won their first English top-flight title in 30 years
The Kansas City Chiefs also make the list after winning a first Super Bowl since 1970 while Argentina's men's rugby team are nominated after earning a first ever win over three-time world champions New Zealand.
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