Thursday, September 21, 2023

Navratilova tipping Nicol for Laureus challenge

Nicol can beat Tennis queen Serena to top award says Martina

WORLD number one tennis champion Serena Williams will face tough competition from seven-time world champion Nicol David for the 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards.

Williams, who won the 2013 French Open and US Open, claimed the Laureus Awards in 2003, 2007, and 2010 but tennis legend Martina Navratilova reckons she’ll face stiff opposition this year from the likes of David, sprint sensation Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and American teenage swimming duo Missy Franklin and Kate Ledecky.

Nicol David victoryThe former world number one from Czech Republic said in a media statement: “The sky’s the limit for her in tennis, but Serena does have tough competitions this year for her fourth Laureus Award,”

“There have been some wonderful performances in so many sports, particularly from some of the younger athletes like Missy Franklin and Kate Ledecky, and of course great champions in their own sports like Inbee Park, Shelly-Anne Fraser-Pryce and Tirunesh Dibaba.

You could make a case for almost any of them to win the Award this year, but my money is on Serena,” Navratilova added.

Martina also commented on Nicol David, who she said brought future in sports and has a chance to win the prestigious title.

“Malaysia’s Nicol David showed her total dominance of women’s squash in 2013. Her victory in the Hong Kong Open in December was her sixth World Tour title of the year, which included the China Open and the US Open. It was also her 71st World Tour career win and a record-equalling 90th World Tour final appearance,” said Navratilova.

David has been number in the world rankings since August 2006 and has won the World Squash Championship for a record seven times.

The Laureus World Sports Awards, now celebrating its 15th year, is recognised as the premier honours event in the international sporting calendar.

navThe names of the six Nominees for the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award, as voted by the Laureus Media Selection Panel, will be announced later this month and the winner will be unveiled at the awards ceremony in Kuala Lumpur on March 26.

Interestingly, the first Patron of Laureus was Nelson Mandela. At the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, he said:

“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.”


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