Laureus Awards: Novak Djokovic, Simon Biles take top honours

Novak Djokovic celebrates his fourth Laureus Award
Novak Djokovic celebrates his fourth Laureus Award. Photo credit: Reuters.

Tennis world number one Novak Djokovic and world champion gymnast Simone Biles have taken top honours at the Laureus World Sports Awards.

Djokovic matched Usain Bolt's achievement by winning the Sportsman of the Year award for the fourth time, after he previously earned the honour in 2012, 2015 and 2016.

Tennis rival Roger Federer holds the record for most men's top gongs with five.

Serb Djokovic won his fourth Wimbledon title and third US Open in 2018, and then his 15th Grand Slam by winning the Australian Open in January.

"I did think about leaving tennis," Djokovic said on Monday. "I did not find myself in a good balance.

"It took me several months to find that purpose and meaning again. This award reflects and symbolises this journey."

He pipped five-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, NBA superstar LeBron James, World Cup-winning footballer Kylian Mbappe, World Footballer of the Year Luka Modric and marathon world recordholder Eliud Kipchoge to the trophy.

American Biles overcame tennis aces Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber, Winter Olympics gold medallists Ester Ledecka and Mikaela Shiffrin, and four-time triathlon world champion Daniela Ryf to take the women's award.

Four-times Rio Olympic gold medallist Biles won three individual gold medals, a silver and a bronze at the 2018 world championships, along with gold in the team event.

A special prize went to the Indian sport development programme Yuwa, which supports young women in the country through football training, and educates them in protection from violence and child-marriage.

The full list of awards was:

Sportsman of the Year - Novak Djokovic (Serbia), tennis

Sportswoman of the Year - Simone Biles (USA), gymnastics

Team of the Year - France, football

Disability Sportsperson of the Year - Henrieta Farkasova (Slovakia), skiing  

Breakthrough Performer of the Year - Naomi Osaka (Japan), tennis

Comeback of the Year - Tiger Woods (USA), golf

Action Sportsperson of the Year - Chloe Jim (USA), snowboard

Spirit of Sport Award - Lindsey Vonn (USA), skiing

Liftetime Achievement - Arsene Wenger (France), football


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