MONACO - World No.1 Naomi Osaka continues to rake in the accolades - even when she’s not on the tennis court.
The two-time Grand Slam champion was honored at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco, where she was named Breakthrough of the Year for her world-beating 2018 season.
Read more: Halep, Kerber, Osaka among Laureus nominees
Osaka beat out fellow nominees Ana Carrasco (motor cycling), Sofia Goggia (skiing), Jakob Ingebrigtsen (athletics), Geraint Thomas (cycling) and Brianna Williams (athletics) to claim the award.
“I want to give a huge thank you to the Laureus Academy for giving me the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year award,” Osaka said in a video message. “I want to thank my coaching staff and my family for being with me for these entire years.
“I also want to [acknowledge] the other nominees, and thank the Laureus Academy for nominating me for such a prestigious award.”
Osaka shot to the top of the sport after her heroic feats last year, which saw her claim the BNP Paribas Open and then defeat her hero, Serena Williams, en route to claiming her first Grand Slam title at the US Open. She hasn’t slowed down since, starting the year by defeating two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova to lift her second major trophy at the Australian Open.
As a result of her Melbourne victory, Osaka dethroned Simona Halep and rose to claim the WTA World No.1 ranking. It’s a complete turnaround from the way she started 2018 - ranked No.72 in the world at the time of the Australian Open - before rising all the way to the top.