Tennis legend Roger Federer on Tuesday was honoured with the Laureus Award for the Sportsman of the Year and Comeback of the Year, making him the most decorated winner in the history of Laureus World Sports Awards. With the double win at the ceremony, the 36-year old took his total tally of awards to 6, since the inception of the awards back in 2000. But his twin wins caused something which the Laureus organisers did not plan for.
According to a report by ATP World Tour, the Laureus website crashed down after Federer bagged the awards, with thousands of people flocking the website to read about his sensational win. The double victories capped off two great months for the Swiss star, who successfully defended his Australian Open in January and then went on to regain the top position in the ATP World Ranking after winning the ABN AMRO world tennis tournament at the Ahoy stadium in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
After bagging the honour, thanked his Spanish rival Rafael Nadal while receiving the award. “Thank you to my rival Rafa. I wanted to give a shoutout to him. He had an unbelievable year himself. We had a great battle and it’s because of a guy like him, I think I’m a better player. He could very well be here tonight standing here with this award because he’s an incredible player, incredible friend and incredible athlete,” he said.
Federer further added that it is an absolute privilege to win the award. “It’s been an absolute privilege to take this award from the Laureus Academy. You know how much this means to me,” he added.
Talking about his comeback in the sport, Federer said it was the most difficult thing he had to do. “It was an unforgettable year for me, to come back after a very difficult 2016, and these awards just make it even more memorable. When I won my first Laureus Award back in 2005, if you had said I would have ended up winning six I would not have believed you. It’s been an amazing ride,” he said.