Federer in running for fifth Laureus Award

Roger Federer is in the running to take his fifth sportsman of the year title after being named Thursday on the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards.

By (Reuters)

Published: Thu 11 Feb 2010, 3:49 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:52 AM

The awards, to be held on March 10, recognize achievements in 2009 — a year in which Federer surpassed Pete Sampras for the most tennis grand slam singles titles by winning his sixth Wimbledon crown, as well as taking his first French Open title.

Federer won the Laureus award for four straight years until Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt took it out last year. Bolt is on the shortlist again for his three golds at the athletics World Championships.

Ethiopian athlete Kenesisa Bekele became the first man to win the 5,000 and 10,000 meters double at that World Championships and was also shortlisted.

Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador, who won his second Tour de France in three years, was also among the contenders, along with Barcelona and Argentina footballer Lionel Messi, who won the FIFA World Player of the Year, plus Italy’s Valentino Rossi, who claimed his seventh Moto GP title.

Serena Williams was the only previous winner to be shortlisted for the women’s award, after winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon and regaining the No.1 ranking.

Two American compatriots were also shortlisted: skiier Lindsey Vonn who won the World Cup for a second year and two golds at the World Championship, plus athlete Sanya Richards, who finally took out a 400 meters major title at the World Championships.

Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser was nominated for adding World Championships 100 meters gold to her Olympic victory.

Two stars of the swimming World Championships were shortlisted: Germany Britta Steffen for world record wins in the 50 and 100 meters freestyle, and Italy’s Federica Pellegrini for breaking four minutes in the 400 meters freestyle.

South Africa’s rugby team was one of six outfits in the running for Team of the Year. The Springboks, who took out the Laureus Award in 2008 after winning the World Cup, beat the British Lions and won the southern hemisphere Tri-Nations crown.

Barcelona will be the favourite for the award, after taking the unprecedented treble of the European Champions League, Spanish league and Spain’s Copa del Rey.

The New York Yankees, who won their 27th baseball World Series, were nominated, along with the Los Angeles Lakers for taking their 15th NBA title.

The Brawn Formula One team, which won the drivers’ and constructors’ world championships after almost going out of business in the offseason, was shortlisted, along with Germany’s women’s football team for claiming a fifth straight European title.

Cyclist Lance Armstrong — a former winner of the main men’s award — was nominated in the Comeback of the Year category after finishing third in the Tour de France following a four-year retirement.

Belgian tennis star Kim Clijsters will be a strong contender after winning the U.S. Open following a two-year hiatus to have her first child.

Golfer Tom Watson, who came within a putt of winning the British Open at age 59, will be a strong sentimental favourite.

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