World No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic crowned a winning return to the courts after surgery with the Laureus sportsman of the year award on Monday, while US gymnast Simone Biles won the sportswoman of the year prize.
Serbian Djokovic, who 12 months ago had elbow surgery, won Wimbledon and the US Open last year, before lifting this year’s Australian Open crown, to add to his tally of Grand Slam singles titles and reclaim top spot in the rankings.
With his record seventh crown at Melbourne Park, Djokovic moved ahead of Pete Sampras into third on the men’s all-time list of Grand Slam title winners (15), just two behind Rafael Nadal. Roger Federer is still out in front with 20.
“I did think about leaving tennis,” Djokovic said. “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 symbolizes this journey.”
“Reflecting on the journey, it seems like a fairytale story,” he added.
Multiple Olympic champion Biles in November became the all-time leading world gymnastics championship gold medal winner with a record 14 golds.
With 20 overall medals at the worlds, Biles, who has also won four Olympic golds, tied Russia’s Svetlana Khorkina for the most by a female gymnast in world championship competition. Her all-around world title was her fourth, also a record.
The comeback of the year award was handed to US golfer Tiger Woods, who silenced even his harshest critics when he earned what some consider to be one of the greatest victories of his career at last year’s Tour Championship season finale.
Woods, who collected the last of his 14 majors at the 2008 US Open, has had plenty of health-related setbacks, having to endure several knee and back surgeries, and his career seemed to be nearing its end in 2017.
Japan’s world No. 1 women’s tennis player Naomi Osaka, who lifted her first Grand Slam title at the US Open last year, and went on to claim this year’s Australian Open, won the breakthrough of the year award.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017