Novak Djokovic conquered the Laureus Sports Award as the Sportsman of the Year. The Serbian player prevailed over Lewis Hamilton, LeBron James, Eliud Kipchoge, Kylian Mbappe and Luka Modric. Djokovic had a stunning comeback, winning three Grand Slams in a row starting from 2018 Wimbledon and he is the world no.
1 again. Djokovic attended the ceremony on Monday in Monte Carlo with his parents, Diana and Srdjan, his wife Jelena and agent Edoardo. In his speech, the 31-year-old said: "Thank you, it's a privilege to share the stage with Monica Seles, I have dreamed of becoming something like you and your career.
Jelena Gencic is not with us anymore, it's my tennis mother as I like to call her. She was a person that has influenced my life probably more than anybody at that stage of my career alongside my parents and I know she worked with me for many years and trust me, I knew everything about you, I knew you were going to bed at 9:30 PM, you are not drinking Coca Cola, you are also eating well, I had to grunt like you on the court.
I had to be very aggressive and you have been my inspiration. Thank you, Laureus for doing such an incredible job with the sport. I didn't know what to expect this evening, I live by philosophy "expect nothing" because then you will get everything and many athletes who are here on this stage and on the crowd have won my heart and your stories, your experiences have proven to me and everybody else that fighting spirit, resilience, we always should nurture those values and that sports sends universal message to everyone around and as Nelson Mandela was right when he said that the sport has the power to change the world.
I would like to reflect a little bit on my journey, I would like to thank my wife for taking her time and presenting me in a different light and I think that there are rare occasions when we share our personal journeys and who we truly are behind the curtain and I think you have done it much better than I would do it and your support has been tremendously significant to me in those moments when I was questioning everything going through my doubts and dilemmas whether keep playing tennis." Naomi Osaka won the Breakthrough of the Year award.