Rafael Nadal, Naomi Osaka and LeBron James Nominated for an Elite Sportspersons Award

Published 02/24/2021, 8:46 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 11, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal acknowledges a fan during his second round match against Michael Mmoh of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott


One of the most prestigious sports awards, Laureus World Sports Awards, has announced its nominees for the year 2021, and there are some prominent names on the list. Most notably, we have the recently crowned Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka and ATP World No.2 Rafael Nadal in the nominees. Furthermore, NBA legend and reigning NBA champion with Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James is also a nominee for one of the awards.

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Naomi Osaka celebrates with the trophy after winning her final match against Jennifer Brady. REUTERS/Kelly Defina

Naomi Osaka is a nominee for the Sportswoman of the Year award. Osaka finds herself in a star-studded line-up for the award. WNBA star, Breanna Stewart will give her some tough competition for it. Furthermore, soccer player, Wendie Renard is also a strong contender. Other nominees include Anna van der Breggen, Brigid Kosgei, Federica Brignone.

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Osaka‘s nomination for the Sportswoman of the Year can be attributed to her solid form, which continues to date. She is on a 21-match win streak that includes a US Open triumph in 2020 and the Australian Open triumph a few days back.

Osaka has one Laureus award already in her cabinet, which she won in 2019 for her breakthrough year in 2018.

Rafael Nadal will compete with LeBron James for Sportsman of the year

LeBron James is again searching for his first Laureus Award. He now has his fifth Laureus nomination and a fourth nomination for the Sportsman of the Year award. LeBron had a stellar NBA season as his Lakers side won the NBA finals, and he was adjudged the finals MVP.

But to win his first Laureus award, LeBron will have to beat some heavyweights. The 2020 Laureus Sportsman of the year winner was Lewis Hamilton, and the Formula One driver has been nominated against its year.

Furthermore, Rafael Nadal is also nominated following his record-extending French Open crown in 2020. Nadal has three Laureus Awards. Among his three awards, Nadal has one Sportsman of the Year award, one comeback of the year award, and a breakthrough of the year award.

Other top sportsmen nominated are Robert Lewandowski, Joshua Cheptegei, and Armand Duplantis.

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Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates. Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Other tennis royalties in nominations are Dominic Thiem and Iga Swiatek. Both of them are nominated for the breakthrough of the year. Swiatek and Thiem became new Grand Slam champions in 2020 at French Open and US Open, respectively.

Interestingly, Roger Federer holds the record for most Laureus awards with six to his name.

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Bhavishya Mittal

980 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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