Roger Federer has won the Laureus award for the "Comeback of the Year", the fifth in his career, and commemorating his remarkable return to top flight tennis after suffering a major knee injury in 2016.
The Swiss ace missed the second half of the corresponding year owing to the setback but came back in astounding fashion, winning three of the following five Grand Slams - two Australian Opens and Wimbledon.
Federer was nominated alongside Barcelona, for their 6-1 second leg Champions League comeback against PSG, MotoGP star Valentino Rossi, 100m hurdle world champion Sally Pearson, sprint world champion Justin Gatlin and Brazilian football club Chapecoense.
Federer recently made his way to the top of the ATP rankings for the fourth time in his career, beating Rafael Nadal, having closed the gap to only 155 points after his triumph at Melbourne, to win his sixth Australian Open title.
In doing so, he beat Andre Agassi to become the oldest player ever to scale the charts. The American held the record for being No 1 at the age of 33, way back in 2003. The 36-year-old has won a remarkable nine titles after making a comeback and his audacious achievement was regarded as the best comeback of the year.
However, he had to go through a lot of trouble to reach where he has after the injury and the 36-year-old thanked his team for helping him through the rough patch. He paid tribute to his fitness coach who had planned out his return but revealed that how his return strategy had become a running joke in the team.
"I think comebacks are always extremely emotional because you've gone through a hard patch and then when you do come back it just feels so great," Federer said, as quoted by the Express. "I didn't believe I was ever going to come back to this level. I hoped to be happy and healthy, just playing tennis again, and then to have the year I had last year was just something else.
"I'd just like to thank all the people that got me back, got me through the operation, waking up not knowing if I could ever run again properly. I should thank all those people who got me back up on my legs running again. My fitness coach who got me working hard again and told me I needed six months off.
"Two months off first and then later six months off. I thought he was joking when he told me I needed that much time off. "Coach told me "we need another month for the forehand, another month for the backhand, another month for the drop shot, another month for the smash".
"It became a running joke in my team.
"It was worth taking the time off and come back stronger that one more time. Last year was a dream come true."