Best Male Tennis Player- Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer
The question that has haunted tennis lovers since Nadal proved Federer’s worthy adversary, these two players have dominated the sport in recent memory and, yet again, they each enjoyed fantastic years. Federer finished the year in the top two for a record straight 8th season, and won five titles during the campaign. Nadal became the first man to win the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in the same year since 1969. After winning the 2011 French Open, Federer became the seventh man to win 10 Grand Slam singles titles. Nadal is also nominated for Best Male Athlete.
Best Female Athlete- Lindsey Vonn
Vonn enjoyed unprecedented success in 2011, winning the Super G, Super Combined and Downhill titles. With 41 career victories, Vonn is the most accomplished American female skier of all-time.
Best Male Golfer- Luke Donald
Donald achieved every golfers dream in 2011 as he became the world’s top-ranked player. His play on the links certainly deserved such acclaim, as he recorded eight top-ten finishes, including one win, in his first nine appearances of 2011.
Best Breakthrough Athlete- Li Na and Cam Newton
Li Na’s breakthrough performance in the past year was not simply on an individual level, but instead announced the arrival of Asian tennis as well. First, Na made it to the finals of the Australian Open, becoming the first Asian-born tennis player to make it to the finals of any Grand Slam. In the French Open, her next opportunity, Na decided to take things one step further, winning the title and thus becoming the first Asian-born tennis player to win a Grand Slam. Na is also nominated for Best Female Tennis Player.
Cam Newton, a junior-college transfer, changed the landscape of college football in his one and only season playing for the Auburn Tigers. Newton led the Southeastern Conference in rushing yards while throwing for 30 touchdowns, a performance that earned him the Heisman Trophy. His performance also helped allow his team to enjoy an undefeated season and the second national championship in Auburn school history. Newton is also nominated for Best Male College Athlete.
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