World number ones Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams completed a clean sweep for tennis as they won the Laureus Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards on Monday.
In a glitzy ceremony in the German capital, hosted by US actor Bill Murray, Serbia's Djokovic edged Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi, sprinter Usain Bolt and Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton among others for the top men's award at the annual ceremony.
Serena was the overwhelming favourite for award in the woman’s category after securing a record 10th nomination.
"I am very proud of it. It wouldn't have been possible without the great team that I have. I am grateful to the love and passion of tennis that brought me here. Sport has inspired me in so many different ways. I dedicate this award to two people who have inspired. I want to thank them for their legacy, Mr Nicki Lauda and Mr Johan Cryuff," Djokovic said after being presented the trophy by current F1 leader Nico Rosberg.
Messi, who had been nominated for a fifth time, once again lost out on the top award.
"It's probably a glitch we need to correct. Somebody like Messi ought to win this award. Maybe football being a team sport comes in the way," Laureus academy member Steve Waugh said before the ceremony.
Djokovic and American Williams, who fought off competition from footballer Carli Lloyd and Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce among others, were rewarded for dominating their sport last year, with each winning three of the four grand slams.
Both athletes picked up the top prize for the third time, with Williams having previously won it in 2003 and 2010 while Djokovic was also victorious in 2012 and 2015.
Golfer Jordan Spieth won the Breakthrough of the Year award after capturing his first two majors at the 2015 US Masters and US Open, while New Zealand's All Blacks won Team of the Year award following their World Cup victory.
There was some joy for the host nation as well with triathlete Jan Frodeno grabbing the Action Sportsperson of the Year prize.
Three-time Formula One world champion Nicki Lauda was presented the 'Laureus Lifetime Achievement' award.
"I dedicate this award to all the losers. Because it is after losing that I learnt the most," the 67-year-old Austrian said after being presented the trophy by reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton.
Dutch footballer and coach Johan Cruyff, who died of cancer in March, was posthumously awarded the Spirit of Sport award. His son Jordi received the award.
The winners in the 2016 Laureus World Sports Awards
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award: Novak Djokovic (Serbia, Tennis).
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award: Serena Williams (US, Tennis). Laureus
World Team of the Year Award: All Blacks (New Zealand, Rugby). Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award: Jordan Spieth (US, Golf).
Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award: Dan Carter (New Zealand, Rugby).
Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Daniel Dias (Brazil, swimming).
Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Jan Frodeno (Germany, Ironman Triathlon).