Novak Djokovic Slam Dunks Nikola Jokic For Balkan Athlete of the Year Award

Novak Djokovic claimed his eighth Balkan Athlete of the Year honor

by Jovica Ilic
Novak Djokovic Slam Dunks Nikola Jokic For Balkan Athlete of the Year Award
© Valerio Pennicino / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

As was expected, Novak Djokovic claimed the award at the 50th Balkan Athlete of the Year poll. Novak earned the honor for his incredible performance in 2023, leaving the NBA champion Nikola Jokic and Aleksandar Vezenkov behind.

The ceremony took place at the Museum of Sport at the Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia, and the Serbian ambassador received the award. National news agencies from Romania, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia gave their votes, and Novak secured his eighth Balkan Athlete of the Year award.

Djokovic wrapped up another great season in 20023, adding it to his already successful 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019 and 2021. Novak lifted seven ATP trophies from eight finals in 2023, conquering three Majors, two Masters 1000 events and the ATP Finals alongside the Wimbledon runner-up spot.

Two Serbs left the rest of the field far behind, with Djokovic collecting 103 points and Jokic adding 72.

Novak Djokovic was the Balkan's best athlete in 2023.

Novak kicked off the season in Adelaide, fending off a match point versus Sebastian Korda and winning an epic final.

Despite a leg injury, Djokovic survived all the challenges at the Australian Open, ousting Stefanos Tsitsipas in the title clash and lifting his tenth Melbourne Park trophy! Novak missed Indian Wells and Miami and made a slow return on clay before finding his A-game at Roland Garros.

Djokovic presented his A-game in Paris and conquered his third Roland Garros crown over Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud, becoming the first player with 23 Major titles! Novak was the favorite to extend his Major streak at Wimbledon, seeking the fifth consecutive

Novak Djokovic, US Open 2023© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The All England Club crown.

Djokovic toppled Jannik Sinner for a place in the final, setting the clash against Carlos Alcaraz. Playing only his fourth ATP event on grass, Carlos overpowered Novak in five sets, lifting the trophy and ending Novak's calendar Grand Slam dreams.

Mighty disappointed, Djokovic sought revenge in the Cincinnati final, prevailing over Alcaraz in one of the best matches of the previous few years, celebrating his 39th Masters 1000 crown. Djokovic gathered a boost ahead of the US Open and conquered his fourth title in New York, ousting Daniil Medvedev in the final and celebrating his 24th Major crown.

Thus, he got in the driving seat in the year-end no. 1 battle, leaving Alcaraz behind. Novak conquered prestigious indoor titles in Paris and Turin, adding 2300 points to his tally and wrapping up the season as year-end no. 1 player for the eighth time, extending his record at 36.

Novak Djokovic