Novak Djokovic was nominated for the BBC Sportsman of the Year 2021 award thanks to a splendid season played this year, in which the Serbian won three out of four slams and maintained the first position in the world rankings.
The other nominees to win the award are boxer Saul Alvarez, WBO world champion in supermedium with a record of 57 wins, 2 draws and one loss in 60 fights; rider Rachel Blackmore, the first woman to win the Grand National; Tom Brady, the legendary GOAT of American football; Athlete Elaine Thompson-Hera, winner of three gold medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (100m, 200m, 4x100m); Max Verstappen, a Formula 1 driver who risks breaking Hamilton’s dominance after 4 consecutive titles, playing for the world championship at the last race in Abu Dhabi, in which they reach equal points.
The awards ceremony will take place on December 19th. Djokovic had one of the best seasons of his career. At the age of 34, the Belgrade tennis player almost managed to conquer the Grand Slam. With the three slams he won this year, Djokovic has reached 20 slams for Nadal and Federer.
Only Medvedev was able to stop Nole's race, beating him in the last slam final of the year at the US Open. The number one in the ranking managed to conquer Roland Garros this season, winning the match of the year in the semifinal against Nadal, absolute master of the Parisian clay court.
Djokovic ended the year with a score of 55 wins and 7 defeats, winning a total of 5 tournaments (in addition to the three slams, Nole won the Bercy master 1000 and the home 250 in Belgrade), becoming the only tennis player in he was open to winning at least twice each of the four slam tournaments and closing the season at number 1 for the seventh time in his career (thus detaching Sampras).
Todd Woodbridge on Novak Djokovic
The inclusion of Novak Djokovic on the list for the 2022 ATP Cup all but confirms his Australian Open participation according to this great. 16-time Slam doubles champion Todd Woodbridge certainly believes so, as he explained following the ATP Cup announcement.
“He had the choice to enter or not enter so he’s put his name on the entry list and that means you’ve got to believe that he’s coming all the way through the summer,” Woodbridge told 2GB’s Wide World of Sports radio.
“He knows all the government regulations about the vaccination, so that means, you would think, that he’s on top of it unless he pulls something that we’re not expecting”. Djokovic is yet to confirm his participation at the Australian Open as his vaccination status remains unknown.
He has played the Melbourne Slam every year since his 2005 debut, a run of 17 consecutive appearances. He has won the tournament nine times, a men’s record and overall Open Era record. Only Margaret Court has more singles titles there with 11, seven of which came before the Open Era.