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Rafael Nadal snubbed for Novak Djokovic on major award list as Emma Raducanu nominated

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NOVAK DJOKOVIC and Emma Raducanu lead six tennis player nominees at the 2022 Laureus World Sports Awards.

Emma Raducanu and Novak Djokovic are among the nominees for this year’s Laureus World Sports Awards. But Rafael Nadal, who returned from a six-month injury layoff to win a record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open on Sunday, has not appeared on the list.

Six tennis players are nominated for the upcoming 2022 Laureus World Sports Awards, but Nadal has just missed out with his Australian Open victory likely coming too late to make the cut.

The world No 5 ended his 2021 season in August with a left foot injury, undergoing a medical procedure and doubting whether he’d even be able to return to the tour as little as a month and a half ago.

Having caught Covid in December, making his comeback even more uncertain, Nadal arrived in Melbourne ahead of the New Year and went on a ten match-winning streak, picking up the ATP 250 title in the lead-up to the Australian Open before lifting his second Aussie Open trophy, 13 years after the first.

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He came from two sets down against highest seed Daniil Medvedev to make history as the first male singles player ever to win a record 21st Grand Slam title, but is seems his feat won’t be recognised in this year’s Laureus World Sports Awards with the Spaniard just missing out on a nomination in the nick of time.

Meanwhile, his long-time rival Novak Djokovic is among the tennis players nominated at the awards, up for World Sportsman of the Year after a wildly successful 2021 which saw him win the first three Majors of the year to equal Federer and Nadal on what was then the record for most men’s singles Grand Slam titles at 20.

Emma Raducanu also leads the nominees, up for World Breakthrough of the Year after her historic US Open triumph, which saw the young Brit become the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam title when she was just 18-years-old and ranked down at world No 150.

Joining her as a breakthrough nominee is fellow 2021 US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, nominated for his own run to a maiden Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows, dropping just one set en route.

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Ash Barty is up for World Sportswoman of the Year, as the WTA world No 1 who lifted her dream title at Wimbledon last summer, and the Aussie has already added to her Grand Slam tally this year by becoming the first home singles champion at the Australian Open in 44 years.

Wheelchair tennis is also represented at the awards by Diede De Groot and Shingo Kunieda, both nominated for the Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award.

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The Dutch wheelchair world No 1 in both singles and doubles made history in 2021 by competing the Calendar Golden Slam – winning all four Majors plus the Olympic gold medal, and she has now extended her Grand Slam-winning streak to six titles in a row with a recent Aussie Open victory.

Kunieda has been nominated after winning the fourth Paralympic gold medal of his career at his home Games in Tokyo last summer.

The winners will be crowned in a virtual Awards Show in April.

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And Nadal has arguably already put himself in the running for a nomination next year, thanks to his extraordinary achievement Down Under.

The 35-year-old already has four Laureus World Sports Awards to his name, including being crowned Sportsman of the Year last year.

He won the Breakthrough award back in 2006 for his incredible debut at the French Open in 2005, winning the first of his 21 Grand Slam titles just two days after his 19th birthday at the tournament.

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He first won Sportsman of the Year in 2011 and was awarded Comeback of the Year in 2014, and could easily find himself nominated in either category come 2023 if he continues his form from the recent Australian Open.