DAPHNE, Ala. – The world’s most celebrated tennis players dominated this year’s United States Sports Academy Athletes of the Year Award. The Academy is proud to announce Novak Djokovic, professional tennis player from Serbia as the Male Athlete of the Year and Maria Sharapova, professional tennis player from Russia as the Female Athlete of the Year.
This is the second year Novak has been US SPorts Athlete of the year (also 2011)
Male Athlete of the Year, Djokovic won his fourth Sony Open Title by defeating the number-one player, Rafael Nadal, with a 6-3, 6-3 win. In addition, Djokovic defeated Roger Federer 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-4 to win the 2014 Wimbledon singles title. The win was his second Wimbledon title and seventh grand slam title. Ranked No. 1 in the world, Novak Djokovic was recently named 2014 ITF Men’s World Champion. The Serbian star is one of only four men to be named World Champion four or more times, alongside Ivan Lendl, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer.
Female Athlete of the Year, Sharapova, captured the Madrid Open Championship title defeating Simona Halep 1-6, 6-2, 6-3. She also won the 2014 French Open Championship with a 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 victory also over Halep. It was her 2nd French Open title and 5th Grand Slam win. She is currently ranked second in the world to Serena Williams of the United States.
Djokovic and Sharapova dominated the voting in the 30th year of the Academy’s Awards of Sport program. Online voting took place on the Academy’s website at www.ussa.edu. from Dec. 1-24. The announcement on Christmas Eve is an early holiday present to the winners.
Finishing second in the Male Athlete of the Year category was Kenyan marathon runner, Dennis Kimetto.
The third place winner on the men’s ballot was Argentinian Lionel Messi who was the second place finisher on last year’s ballot.
The runner up to Sharapova was Genzebe Dibaba, an Ethiopian middle and long-distance runner.
Finishing third on the women’s side is United States swimmer Katie Ledecky taking rival Missy Franklin’s place who was third in last year’s ballot.
source: US Sports