Williams & Djokovic win Laureus awards

Serena Williams

Serena Williams was on track for a calendar Grand Slam before losing in the semi-finals of the 2015 US Open

Tennis players Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams were named the sportsman and woman of the year at the annual Laureus World Sports Awards.

The awards honour the most notable sporting figures and their achievements of the previous year.

Serbia’s Djokovic, 28, reached all four Grand Slam finals last year, winning three of them, while American Williams, 34, also won three.

Brazil’s Paralympic swimmer Daniel Dias was disabled sportsperson of the year.

The 27-year-old, who earned seven gold medals at last year’s IPC Swimming World Championships, has now won the honour three times after landing it in 2009 and 2013.

New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup-winning All Blacks were named team of the year and their captain Dan Carter won the comeback of the year award. Carter was named man-of-the-match in the final, four years after missing the previous World Cup because of injury.

US golfer Jordan Spieth, 22, took the breakthrough of the year accolade after winning both the Masters and US Open in 2015.

German triathlete and 2015 World Ironman Champion Jan Frodeno, 34, was named action sportsperson of the year; Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, 28, was team athlete of the year – just a day after scoring his 500th career goal; and three-time Formula 1 world champion Niki Lauda, now chairman of the sport’s Mercedes team, received a lifetime achievement award at the ceremony in Berlin.

A special spirit of sport award was given posthumously to Johan Cruyff, in recognition of his work helping to deliver sport-related projects for underprivileged children around the world. The Netherlands football legend, who both played for and coached Ajax and Barcelona, died of cancer on 24 March, aged 68.


The Laureus Spirit of Sport award was won posthumously by Johan Cruyff – who won a lifetime achievement award in 2006

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