It was a good night for tennis at the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards. Chinese sports pioneer Li Na accepted the Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award. She retired last year, but was presented the award for her career, in which she set several “first ever” achievements for an Asian and/or Chinese tennis player in singles. Li joins Michael Phelps as the only athletes to receive the Exceptional Achievement Award from the Laureus Academy. She accepted the award clearly showing her baby bump. She and her husband, Jiang Shan, are expecting their first child. Both she and Serena Williams were nominated for Sportswoman of the Year, but lost to Ethiopian distance runner Genzebe Dibaba, who set 3 world records in the last year.
While Li Na and Serena didn’t capture this year’s Sportswoman of the Year (Serena has already won it twice before), men’s world #1 Novak Djokovic eclipsed fellow nominees such as golfer Rory McIlroy and soccer/football star Cristiano Ronaldo to take home his second Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award. Nole has won two of the last three Majors, including his second Wimbledon title. He also took home the ATP World Tour Finals title and won the mini-Major Indian Wells-Miami double for the second straight year and third time overall, the only player to have accomplished that double three times.
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