Serena Williams could win the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year award for the fourth time but faces stiff competition from the Spaniard.
WTA Staff
January 17, 2018

Serena Williams and Garbiñe Muguruza have received nominations for the prestigious Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award, while Jelena Ostapenko is up for the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year prize.

Muguruza and Serena, who has claimed the gong three times previously, in 2003, 2010 and 2016, find themselves up against athletes Allyson Felix and Caster Semenya as well as swimmer Katie Ledecky and skier Mikaela Shiffrin.

Williams enjoyed a remarkable 2017, despite playing only two tournaments. The 36-year-old notably won the Australian Open, beating sister Venus, 6-4, 6-4, in the final, and it later emerged that she was eight weeks pregnant with Alexis Olympia, who was born in September.

Muguruza, meanwhile, enjoyed a career-best year, reaching the quarterfinals in the Australian Open and the fourth round at the US Open – both personal-best achievements. It was at Wimbledon that she achieved her highlight, however, as the claimed her second Grand Slam title by defeating Venus, 7-5, 6-0.

She also rose to WTA World No.1 for the first time following her run at Flushing Meadows and finished the year WTA World No.2.

Jelena Ostapenko

In the Breakthrough Award, Ostapenko finds herself the sole female representative. The 20-year-old enjoyed her best run to date in all four Grand Slams, included unexpected glory in the French Open, where she came from a set down to defeat Simona Halep, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the final.

She also attained a career-high WTA World No.7 ranking, having dipped as low as 71 in February 2017.

The Latvian faces competition from golf’s Sergio García, basketball’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, boxer Anthony Joshua, swimmer Caeleb Dressel and footballer Kylian Mbappé.

Yui Kamiji from wheelchair tennis, meanwhile, has been nominated for Laureus World Sportsperson with a Disability. The Japanese left hander was the dominant force in her sport throughout 2017, narrowly missing out on a Grand Slam. She won majors in Australia, France and America, but was beaten in the semifinals at Wimbledon.

Additionally, she enjoyed success in the doubles in Paris, and made up to some extent for her disappointment on the grass by claiming the title at Wimbledon, too.

Tennis has a rich history of success at the Laureus Awards, with regular winners across the spectrum of awards. Although the sport missed out last year, in 2016 Novak Djokovic claimed the Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award while Serene picked up the gong for Sportswoman of the Year.

She will find out if she has won that award for a fourth time when the prize ceremony takes place in Monaco on February 27.