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Federer is Sportsman of the Year honor for second time

The seven-time grand slam champion is has won the Laureus World Sports Awards twice.

india Updated: Feb 28, 2007 16:30 IST

Seven-time grand slam champion Roger Federer of Switzerland was chosen 'Sportsman of the Year' for the second straight year at the 2006 Laureus World Sports Awards on Monday, giving tennis one of three top honors.

Rival Rafael Nadal of Spain won 'Newcomer of the Year' while compatriot Martina Hingis won 'Comeback of the Year.'

Federer, who won Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and Australian Open in the past 12 months, is one of only three athletes in the history of Laureus Awards to win the Sportsman of the Year award twice. Formula One driver Michael Schumacher and golfer Tiger Woods also have won twice.

"With Nadal winning Newcomer and me winning the big one, it's a great sign for tennis," Federer said. "I hope we can play many times in the future."

Rafael Nadal, who won last year's French Open, is a favorite to win the clay-court Grand Slam event again this year. "I don't have any special plans for beating Federer. I'll play with the enthusiasm I always play with," Nadal said after accepting the award.

The Laureus Awards are awarded annually, chosen by the 42 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy.

Other winners this year included Italian hang-glider Angelo d'Arrigo, a pioneer of the sport who was posthumously awarded the Alternative Sportsperson of the Year Award. He was killed in an airplane crash in March.

Croatia's Janica Kostelic, a skier who has won more Alpine skiing medals than any other woman, won Sportswoman of the Year. Special award winners included motorcycle rider Valentino Rossi, who won the Spirit of Sport Award after being declared World Moto GP Champion for the fifth consecutive year.

First Published: May 23, 2006 14:03 IST