New York, July 12 (MNN) Japanese world number 2 tennis player Osaka Naomi won the best athlete in women’s sports as also the best athlete in women’s tennis at the 2021 ESPY Award ceremony here.
Best athlete in men’s tennis award went to newly-crowned Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic.
The Japanese spoke out about her mental health and withdrawal from two Grand Slams to protect it.
The world number two is set to return to court at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 after withdrawing from the 2021 French Open and then sitting out the Wimbledon.
The ESPYs founded in 1993 are awarded by US television stations ABC and ESPN. Fans and experts vote on the award winners.
“I just really want to not say a long speech because I’m a bit nervous,” Osaka said as she accepted her award.
“I know this year has been really, it hasn’t even finished, but it’s been really tough for a lot of us.
“For me, I just want to say, I really love you guys and this is my first ESPYs so it’s really cool to be surrounded by all these incredible athletes.
“I think all of you guys are really cool and I watch some of you on TV so it’s really surreal to be here and yeah, thank you so much and I really appreciate it.”
NFL superstar Tom Brady, who led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Super Bowl LV as the game’s Most Valuable Player, was named Best Athlete in Men’s Sports.