Tennis Dominates Laureus Nominations
by Lynn Berenbaum | February 27th, 2007, 12:16 pm

Forget the Hollywood version. The Oscars of world sport, the nominations for the Laureus Awards, were just announced. And tennis dominated the field with nominations in five of the seven categories.

World Number 1 Roger Federer, top golfer Tiger Woods, and seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher lead the nominations for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award. They are all two-time winners, and there will be a heated rivalry among them to see who can be the first to make it three. Will those Gillette razors get a work-out? Let’s hope not. It’s been kind of nice to watch Woods and Fedman being buds.

Tennis’ top three female players are also in a battle for the World Sportswoman of the Year prize: French Open champion Justine Henin, Wimbledon winner Amélie Mauresmo and US Open champion Maria Sharapova. Mauresmo picked up another nomination for Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award after winning two Grand Slam titles in 2006. While tennis stands a good chance in the Sportswoman category, Mauresmo faces some stiff competition in Breakthrough from track and fielder Xavier Carter, and German swimmer Britta Steffen.

Serena Williams got a nomination for Comeback of the Year for her triumph at this year’s Australian Open, and dramatic rise from 140 in the rankings to number 15. As a late-comer to the noms process, she may have the hardest row to hoe against boxer Roy Jones Jr. and French soccer star Zinedine Zidane.

Tennis may also seal a win with Dutch World Number 1 Wheelchair Champ Esther Vergeer, winner of the Laureus Disability Award in 2002. Vergeer has been nominated for the fourth time after a three-year unbeaten run and a sensational 2006 season.

Federer is celebrating his 161st consecutive week as Number 1, having eclipsed Jimmy Connors‘ 30-year-old record after dominating men’s tennis for the past three years. In his press conference in Dubai yesterday, he said, “It’s always hard to compare different sports. But I think when other athletes actually, like at the Laureus, for instance, they vote for their respective best athlete, I think that kind of is the best thing actually which can — they have the most knowledge of how tough sports is and they can maybe make the best judgment. I think Michael Schumacher, me and Tiger, we’ve all won twice. Lance Armstrong won. It really shows they’ve picked it seems the best of that year. I think we’ll see maybe this year again who they’re going to vote. I have had maybe my best year. I hope I can win again. I think it’s great when other former athletes vote for the ones who are competitive now.”

Let’s just hope that if he wins, that his acceptance speech is a little more coherent.

Since its inception in 2000, the Laureus nominations have been completed by a Selection Panel, compiled from votes by 1,068 sports journalists from 128 countries. Of the 43 nominations, 25 are from European countries, 12 from the U.S. and one each from Australia, New Zealand, China, Ghana, Jamaica and Iran. The nominations for the Action Sportsperson of the Year and the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability are produced by Specialist Panels.

The members of the Laureus Academy, made up of world sporting greats, vote by secret ballot to select all of the winners. They will be announced at a televised ceremony at the Palau Sant Jordi, in Barcelona, on the evening of Monday, April 2.

As they say in the Oscars, just being nominated is an achievement. Congratulations and best of luck to all of them.

Check out all the nominations here.

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9 Comments for Tennis Dominates Laureus Nominations

Fuzzylingual Says:

Coherence is in the ear of the listener; how’s that for mauling English language? :D

He was trying not to be too coherent, me thinks ’cause either way he could come off in a negative manner. Actually, I think that type of incohenrence would become popular with people in constant media exposure because it gives a layer of protection from being quoted and misquoted to their disadvantage. They can always claim to have said something entirely different to what’s being quoted.

Jacques Lenglen Says:

How come you (yes you, Lynn Berenbaum) didn’t write about Wimbledon coming to senses about equal pay to women?

It took them this long to realize that they can’t continue discriminating against top women’s tennis players by paying them less than the top men’s tennis players! All the MCPs are coming out of the woodwork to moan about it. Are you one of the retrogressive thinkers too? Do you also feel that it’s ok to continue to treat women as less than men?

Lynn Berenbaum Says:

Thank you for your inducement Jacques. As the token woman (?) here at TX, I probably should have written a lil sumptin sumptin up.

Basically, the fine folks at All-England came to their collective senses while I was laying on a beach working on perfecting the pasty white Jewish girl tan, and perhaps more importantly, pondering the importance of the ever-mystical connection between miniature umbrellas and fruity rum drinks.

While I didn’t yet write about this historic event, I will point you to this piece I wrote during their derangement last year — which ironically just so happened to coincide with Equal Pay Day in the US. It lays out all the arguments that go against the ‘regressive MCPs’.

Or, if you want to celebrate this achievement with me, take some time to troll through Getty Images’ stock photos of early Wimbledon’s Ladies Champions.

Make sure to check out your lady Suzanne with the long dress and high-kick. I do so wish I could have been around seen her play that famous match at Cannes against Hellen Wills Moody….

We’ve come a long way… And we’re gonna keep going.



Jacques Lenglen Says:

Wow! Thanks for the images link! Suzanne is divine! …and thanks also for the link to your article.

All the MCP arguments boil down to this: “since men are physically stronger than women, women should never be paid the same as men in any physical area of work.”

Note the twin fallacies in such an argument:
1. ‘physically stronger’ does not necessarily equate ‘physically better’, and
2. Who is ‘paying’ whom? Women make up half the market, if not more. (MCPs would certainly fall into the minority in a democracy.)


Roger Federer is out of this world Says:

I´m the Greatest Sportsman of All Time.

Jen Says:

Look ladies,
I don’t know what all the fuss is about getting equal pay with the guys. Let’s just face it, in Grand Slams, men have to work harder than ladies do. They have to play 5 setters, women play only 3 setters. That is a HUGE difference, and the men have to train all season to be in shape for up to 2 extra sets of tennis (which can be up to 2+ hours!!). Anyhow, I’m tired of all these femenists demandind equal pay. I beleive that equal pay should only result from equal work.

scineram Says:

Any private org should pay anyone whatever amount it wants and you on either side should shut up and accept.

Fan of Tennis Says:

“Let’s just hope that if he wins, that his acceptance speech is a little more coherent.”

Roger just can’t get a break, can he! He has said that the toughest thing for him to do is to get up and give a speech. I think he did well. Now which language would you like to hear it in? French? German? Swiss German? English? … oh… you probably wouldn’t understand anything unless it’s in English, huh? I think we put too much pressure on non-American athletes to be flowing with the English language! Please! I’ve heard Roger speak and I’ll put him up against 90% of our NFL plays, basketball players, rap stars, etc. for speaking English and for most of those athletes – English is their first language!

I have Roger’s speech on tape and he did a great job to me. I hope he wins it again so he can do another ‘great’ job in his acceptance speech! Go Roger!

ben Says:

Lighten up Fan of Tennis. it was obviously a joke.

But speaking of incoherent, wtf speech do you have on tape? what are you even talking about??

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