Lewis Hamilton and Mo Salah win big at the Laureus World Sports Awards

Lewis Hamilton and Mo Salah win big at the Laureus World Sports Awards, with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp calling Salah’s gong ‘well deserved’

  • Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka won Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year
  • Hamilton was praised for racial justice protests as he won a seventh world title
  • German side Bayern Munich took Team of the Year after Champions League win

Sir Lewis Hamilton and Mo Salah were recognised for their activism at the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards on Thursday evening.

Hamilton was singled out for his racial justice protests throughout his successful campaign to win a seventh F1 world title. 

After being named athlete advocate of the year, he said: ‘This past year has been incredibly difficult for so many, but it has also been heartening to see the power of our collective voices spark new conversations and change. 

Sir Lewis Hamilton has won Athlete Advocate of the Year at the Laureus World Sports Awards

Liverpool's Mo Salah won Sporting Inspiration owing to his advocacy of women's equality

Liverpool’s Mo Salah won Sporting Inspiration owing to his advocacy of women’s equality

Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal triumphed after equalling Roger Federer's haul of 20 Grand Slams

Fellow tennis star Naomi Osaka won Sportswoman of the Year at the tender age of just 23

Rafael Nadal (left) and Naomi Osaka (right) won Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year

Laureus World Sports Awards: full winners list

Sportsman of the Year: Rafael Nadal.

Sportswoman of the Year: Naomi Osaka.

Team of the Year: Bayern Munich.

Breakthrough of the Year: Patrick Mahomes.

Comeback of the Year: Max Parrot.

Sport for Good: KICKFORMORE by KICKFAIR. 

Lifetime Achievement: Billie Jean King.

Athlete Advocate of the Year: Lewis Hamilton.

Sporting Inspiration: Mo Salah. 

Sporting Moment of the Year: Chris Nikic.

‘The impact of each and every one of you who have stood up, is so inspiring, so I want to thank you. 

‘Please keep fighting, keep shining your light. I truly believe that together, we will get there, and so I stand with you as we push forwards. 

‘I’m sending you all love and positivity, stay safe. Thank you.’

During a digital ceremony, Rafael Nadal was named sportsman of the year for equalling Roger Federer’s haul of 20 Slams.

Japanese tennis player and activist Naomi Osaka, 23, who was named on Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world for 2019 and 2020, won the sportswoman gong.

Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Salah took the sporting inspiration award owing to his advocacy of women’s equality in the Middle East.

Salah said: ‘It was a very difficult year on so many levels and for so many people around the world.

‘Some of us were kept away from our family and friends, and others even lost loved ones.

‘We need to learn from this experience, support one another, and do our best to look ahead.’

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp said: ‘If I tell you he is an even better person than he is a player, then you may be able to imagine what kind of guy he is. This is well deserved.’ 

German giants Bayern Munich won Team of the Year after their Champions League trophy

German giants Bayern Munich won Team of the Year after their Champions League trophy

Tennis legend and gender equality advocate Billie Jean King won Lifetime Achievement Award

Tennis legend and gender equality advocate Billie Jean King won Lifetime Achievement Award

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Madrid Open: Rafael Nadal sweeps aside teenage star Carlos Alcaraz in straight sets

Rafael Nadal sweeps aside teenage star Carlos Alcaraz in straight sets at the Madrid Open as world No 2 continues his preparations for the French Open later this month

  • Rafael Nadal made short work of his countryman Carlos Alcaraz in Madrid Open 
  • The world No.2 cruised past the Spanish teenager 6-1, 6-2 to reach third round  
  • Alcaraz, 18, had clinched a dream tie with one of his heroes on his birthday
  • He has been earmarked as the next big talent in Spanish tennis after Nadal 

Rafael Nadal brushed off the challenge of his fellow Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz at the Madrid Open as the world No 2 cruised to a straight-sets win over the teenager.

Nadal won 6-1, 6-2 against the 18-year-old, who idolises him and had called their meeting ‘a dream come true’ on his birthday. Alcaraz is being earmarked as the next big thing in Spanish tennis and a possible successor to Nadal.

But he has a long way to go if their second round clash is anything to go by – with Alcaraz making a series of unforced errors, with Nadal relatively unfazed.

Rafael Nadal comfortably beat Spanish starlet Carlos Alcaraz in Madrid Open second round

The world No.2 simply had too much quality for the youngster as he cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 win

The world No.2 simply had too much quality for the youngster as he cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 win

The 18-year-old's performance was littered with unforced errors during his dream birthday tie

The 18-year-old’s performance was littered with unforced errors during his dream birthday tie

However, Nadal was full of praise for him after the match and urged fans to be patient with him and he makes his way up the ranks. 

‘It was a difficult match against a youngster who has been playing very well and who has an enormous potential ahead of him,’ he said. ‘All he needs is some time. 

‘In addition to being a great tennis player, he also has great values, which is something society needs right now.’

He was presented with a cake on court by tournament director Feliciano Lopez after turning 18

He was presented with a cake on court by tournament director Feliciano Lopez after turning 18

Alcaraz worships countryman Nadal and called their meeting in Madrid 'a dream come true'

Alcaraz worships countryman Nadal and called their meeting in Madrid ‘a dream come true’ 

Alcaraz – currently ranked 120th in the world – will have taken plenty away from the experience, and he was treated to a birthday treat as tournament director Feliciano Lopez brought out a cake – with a small crowd singing happy birthday to him.

He had previously become the youngest player to win a match at the tournament when he beat Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-0.

But while the media are quick to lap up Alcaraz’s development and compare him to Nadal, his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero has moved to play down the plaudits, saying the early pressure will not help him.  

He has been touted as a successor to Nadal and is one of the hottest talents in Spanish tennis

He has been touted as a successor to Nadal and is one of the hottest talents in Spanish tennis 

‘In Spain, everybody is saying that he’s the next Rafa,’ he said. ‘For him, it’s not easy to hear that. 

‘He’s not saying anything about it and as his team, we are trying to make a big wall around him.

‘We’re trying to make him do his own thing and play a good level. We’re not trying to hear all the mosquitoes that are around. But this isn’t easy.’

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Carlos Alcaraz sets up match with hero Rafael Nadal in the Madrid Open on his 18th birthday

Carlos Alcaraz sets up match with hero Rafael Nadal on his 18th birthday after becoming youngest ever player to win a match at the Madrid Open… beating the record set by his idol

  • Carlos Alcaraz will play his idol Rafael Nadal in the Madrid Open on Wednesday
  • The match will take place on the teenager’s 18th birthday after first round win
  • Alcaraz became the youngest player to ever win a match at the tournament
  • Spaniard’s huge potential has already led to comparisons to a young Nadal 

Carlos Alcaraz secured the perfect early birthday present after beating Adrian Mannarino in the Madrid Open to set up a second-round match with his idol Rafael Nadal.

The teenager turns 18 on Wednesday and he will spend it on court with a man who won his first Madrid title when Alcaraz was just two years old.

In beating Mannarino 6-4 6-0, Alcaraz beat a record set by Nadal to become the youngest player to win a match in the tournament’s history.

Carlos Alcaraz will play his tennis hero Rafael Nadal in the second-round of the Madrid Open

The teenager turns 18 on Wednesday and will spend his birthday on court with his countryman

The teenager turns 18 on Wednesday and will spend his birthday on court with his countryman

It was the youngster’s first win at an ATP Masters 1000 event – he has a way to go to reach Nadal’s 391 victories in those events.

The pair were seen practicing together at the Australian Open earlier this year, and Alcaraz’s quick rise through the ranks have already led to comparisons between the teenager and his fellow countryman.

Nadal, who is looking for his sixth Madrid Open title and coming off the back of victory in Barcelona, has spoken highly of Alcaraz in the past. 

‘Carlos is an amazing player with an amazing level of tennis,’ Nadal said. ‘He will probably be one of the greatest players in the world soon.’

Wednesday’s match will be just the second time Alcaraz has face a player ranked in the top ten in the world, having lost to Alexander Zverev in Mexico back in March.

Alcaraz lost to Alexander Zverev in his only previous match against a player in the top ten

Alcaraz lost to Alexander Zverev in his only previous match against a player in the top ten

Nadal’s uncle, Toni Nadal, who was for a long time part of his nephew’s coaching team, has also been full of praise for Alcaraz.

However, the 17-year-old’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero tried to downplay any unnecessary expectation put on his player after he reached the second round of the Australian Open earlier this year for his first win in the main draw of a Grand Slam.

‘If you hear that from Toni, everybody is open ears,’ Ferrero told the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

‘Of course, that’s not easy. That pressure for someone who’s 17 – it’s not great.

‘In Spain, everybody is saying that he’s the next Rafa. For him, it’s not easy to hear that. He’s not saying anything about it and as his team, we are trying to make a big wall around him.

‘We’re trying to make him do his own thing and play a good level. We’re not trying to hear all the mosquitoes that are around. But this isn’t easy.’

The Spaniard's coach has admitted the huge expectation already on the youngster is not ideal

The Spaniard’s coach has admitted the huge expectation already on the youngster is not ideal

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Rafael Nadal wins his 12th Barcelona Open title after saving match point against Stefanos Tsitsipas

Rafael Nadal wins his 12th Barcelona Open title after saving a match point against Stefanos Tsitsipas with the Spaniard set to reclaim the world No 2 spot in the ATP rankings

  • Rafael Nadal beat Stefanos Tsitsipas to claim his 12th Barcelona Open title
  • The Spaniard rode his luck as he saved a match point in a pulsating final 
  • Nadal will reclaim world No 2 spot when the ATP rankings are updated 

Rafael Nadal saved match point in a pulsating final against Stefanos Tsitsipas to win his 12th Barcelona Open title.

Nadal had only lost one set in 11 previous finals in Catalonia and had never lost a clay-court final having held a match point. 

He had two in the second set but a combination of uncharacteristic misses from the Spaniard and brilliant play from his opponent helped Tsitsipas turn the match around.

Rafael Nadal rode his luck as he saved a match point to win his 12th Barcelona Open title

The Greek had his own chance to clinch back-to-back titles, having won his maiden Masters crown in Monte Carlo last week, when he held match point at 5-4 in the decider. 

But Nadal dug deep, broke the Tsitsipas serve in the next game and battled his way to a 6-4, 6-7 (6), 7-5 victory in three hours and 38 minutes.

Nadal, 34, will leapfrog Russian Daniil Medvedev to take back the world No 2 spot in the updated ATP rankings on Monday. 

The 20-times Grand Slam winner will be back in action at next month’s ATP Masters 1000 tournaments in Madrid and Rome looking to carry the momentum into the French Open.

The Spaniard beat Stefanos Tsitsipas a 6-4, 6-7 (6), 7-5 in three hours and 38 minutes

The Spaniard beat Stefanos Tsitsipas a 6-4, 6-7 (6), 7-5 in three hours and 38 minutes

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