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2 Feb, 2022 14:02

Medvedev & Djokovic nominated for prestigious accolades

Men’s tennis duo Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev are both among the nominees at the 2022 Laureus World Sports Awards
Medvedev & Djokovic nominated for prestigious accolades

The current top two stars in men’s tennis – Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev – are both in the running for prestigious accolades after the nominees for the 2022 Laureus World Sports Awards were revealed.

Serbian ace Djokovic is among the names for the Sportsman of the Year gong after his three Grand Slam title wins in 2021.

He will face competition from recently-retired NFL icon Tom Brady, Dutch Formula One world champion Max Verstappen, Kenyan marathon king Eliud Kipchoge, Polish footballer Robert Lewandowski, and US swimmer Caeleb Dressel, who was a five-time gold medalist in Tokyo.

Russian world number two Medvedev, who missed out on a second successive Grand Slam title by losing a five-set epic to Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final last weekend, is nominated for the Breakthrough of the Year accolade, which features both male and female contenders. 

The 25-year-old Russian won his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open in September.

Medvedev faces competition from teenage British tennis sensation Emma Raducanu, who shocked the world with her Grand Slam victory in New York.

Others nominated in the breakthrough category are Indian Olympic javelin champion Neeraj Chopra, Spain and Barcelona footballer Pedri, Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus, and Venezuelan triple-jumper Yulimar Rojas.   

The Sportswoman of the Year prize will be contested by Australian tennis star Ash Barty, American runner Allyson Felix, US swimmer Katie Ledecky, Australian pool star Emma McKeon, Spanish women’s footballer Alexia Putellas and Jamaican sprint queen Elaine Thompson-Herah.

The winners will be announced at a virtual awards show in April.

Djokovic – who was forced to miss the Australian after being deported in a visa and vaccine row – is a four-time previous winner of the accolade.

Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer holds the record for the highest tally of Laureus titles with five awards during his remarkable career – the last of which came in 2018.

Medvedev’s first-time nomination could at least help to soothe some of the upset he endured in his defeat to Nadal on Sunday, when the Russian surrendered a two-set lead in Melbourne as the Spaniard clinched a record 21st Grand Slam title. 

Medvedev was a despondent figure after his defeat, suggesting the “dreams” he had nurtured as a youngster in the sport were now over.

The Russian was angered by the actions of the Melbourne crowd, which was vociferous in its support for Nadal and often cried out as Medvedev was preparing to serve – something seen as breaking the code of conduct in tennis.