World No. 1s Roger Federer and Justine Henin both finished runner-up on Friday when the Associated Press named their men’s and women’s Athlete of the Year awards.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was named the Male Athlete of the Year, and Lorena Ochoa, who won eight golf tournaments, including the Women’s British Open, won Female Athlete of the Year.
“I play in a team sport,” Brady said of the honor. “Everybody I play with is responsible for what each of us accomplishes as individuals and for what we all accomplish as a team.”
Brady received 51 votes, 18 more than the runner-up Federer, who in 2007 won his fifth straight Wimbledon and fourth straight US Open title, and was also slighted once again for Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year.
While the argument remains whether golf is a sport, Ochoa became the fifth straight golfer to capture the women’s award, and had 71 votes to the runner-up Henin’s 17.
Henin missed the Australian Open while going through a divorce, but captured major championships at the French Open, US Open, and the year-end WTA Championships which pits the Top 8 players in the world against one another. The Belgian also captured titles on all four surfaces.
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