- US top tennis star Serena Williams missed out on claiming top awards as Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka were chosen as winners
- The annual Laureus Awards were held on Thursday night where tennis stars Osaka and Nadal were recognised in the women and men’s categories
- At the same time, Liverpool star Mohamed Salah was also handed a top award for his deeds back home in Egypt
Serena Williams was a conspicuous loser during the Laureus Awards where sportsmen and women were recognised for their performances. In the tennis code, players such as Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka picked up the Laureus Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards on Thursday night.
On the other hand, Egypt and Liverpool striker Mohammed Salah was also recognised while Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton also bagged an accolade.
The world’s number two, Nadal, secured his fourth Laureus Award as he was noticed for his 13th French Open, thus equalling his 20th major.
For Osaka, she was honoured for winning the US Open for the second time and now has four majors, making her a two-time Laureus winner. Nadal said:
“Winning the French Open and equalling the 20th Grand Slam of Roger Federer has been an unforgettable moment. It means a lot to equal my great rival, but at the same time, my great friend.”
The Japanese top tenner, Osaka, was 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. Osaka said:
“Regarding my activism on the court, I think it is important to use my voice 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.”
Coming back to Salah, the Reds veteran claimed the Sporting Inspiration Award for his support of various charities, many in his hometown of Nagrig, Egypt.
The Pharaohs international is regarded as a powerful advocate of women’s rights in the Middle East.
Meanwhile, Hamilton was named as the first 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.
Briefly News previously reported that Osaka was not going to participate in the Western and Southern Open semi-final last year.
In a statement released on Twitter yesterday, the 22-year-old announced that although she was scheduled to play in the semi-finals she is a black woman before an athlete.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!