'Rafael Nadal should play forever and chase 30 Roland Garros titles,' says WTA star

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'Rafael Nadal should play forever and chase 30 Roland Garros titles,' says WTA star

For the second time in his career, Rafael Nadal won Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsman of the Year! It is the second Laureus honor for Nadal after the first that came a decade ago, becoming the third tennis player with multiple awards after Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, who have collected nine honors combined.

Nadal earned the title ahead of Joshua Cheptegei, Armand Duplantis, Lewis Hamilton, LeBron James and Robert Lewandowski thanks to his 13th Roland Garros crown, lifting the 20th Major in Paris and matching Roger Federer's tally for the first time.

Martina Navratilova praised Nadal after receiving the award, saying she adores his fighting spirit and professionalism. Martina backed Rafa to play forever and chase 30 Roland Garros titles. Last October, Nadal secured the 13th Roland Garros trophy, heading to Paris with no form or matches in his legs but finding the A-game to beat all seven rivals in straight sets and write history books.

Martina Navratilova dropped major prise on Rafael Nadal.

Rafa lost only 23 games in the first four matches to preserve energy for the last three encounters. Jannik Sinner had his chances in the opening two sets before Rafa prevailed in under three hours.

The Spaniard set an even more extended meeting against Diego Schwartzman, who reached the third set tie break before Rafa won it 7-0 to set the title clash against Novak Djokovic. World no. 1 stood no chance against the Roland Garros emperor, with Rafa earning a 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 triumph in two hours and 41 minutes to extend his Parisian reign and secure the second Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsman of the Year.

"What can I say to you that hasn't been told to you by countless others? But, for me, watching you play, watching you compete for every point as if it is a match point, your total and utter commitment to the sport, your professionalism is off the charts.

People will be writing books about you to teach others to do what you have done so well for, now for almost 20 years. So, I salute you, I respect you, I love watching you play, and I hope you never quit so you can win, maybe 30 Roland Garros titles. Anyway, congratulations," Martina Navratilova said.