Novak Djokovic Upstages Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem as Europe’s Best Sportsperson in Tennis

Published 12/27/2020, 3:30 AM EST
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his group stage match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

The names for the European sportspersons of the year are out and the honors list features as many as 4 tennis players.


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Novak Djokovic stamps his status as Europe’s best

Topping the list of best European tennis players this calendar year with 85 points is Novak Djokovic. The Serb clinched his 17th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open this season and also recorded a staggering win percentage of 89.1%.


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At 41, Djokovic posted the joint highest number of wins alongside Russian Andrey Rublev. He won 4 titles this year and also achieved his 6th year-end Number 1 ranking, equaling American tennis great Pete Sampras.

The only blemish for the Serb this calendar year was his disqualification from the US Open for accidentally hitting a female line judge with a tennis ball during his 4th-round encounter against Pablo Carreno Busta.

Also, Djokovic would have regretted not winning the ATP Finals in London, extending his title-less run at the elite season-ending event to the 5th straight year.

Rafael Nadal second in the list of best tennis players with 72 points

Rafael Nadal found himself at #2 in the list of best tennis players this year with 72 points to his name. The Spaniard won his 13th French Open title this year, tying Roger Federer for the highest number of Grand Slams won at 20 apiece.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 04: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates his match win over Diego Schwartzman of Argentina on day ten of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 04, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

However, the year’s first Grand Slam, the Australian Open, didn’t end well for him as he went out in the quarter-finals, losing to Austrian Dominic Thiem in 5 sets.

He also couldn’t break his title jinx at the ATP Finals, extending his barren run at the tournament to the 10th year. However, he did reaffirm his status as the Numero Uno on clay.

The Spaniard did raise visions of finally ending his trophy-drought by making the last-4 stage of the event but inexplicably surrendered the momentum to eventual champion Daniil Medvedev from a winning position.

Nadal was leading by a set and a break of serve before the Russian scripted a fairytale comeback to set up a title clash with Thiem.

Iga Swiatek voted the best women’s tennis player

Also voted as the best woman tennis player this calendar year, Polish sensation Iga Swiatek features next in the list with 32 points. The 19-year-old Pole rose to stratospheric heights with her maiden Grand Slam win at the French Open.

Underlining her dominance at Roland-Garros, Swiatek didn’t lose a single set on the way to lifting the title.


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Dominic Thiem rounds off the list with 19 points

Rounding off the list of best European tennis players this calendar year is Dominic Thiem with 19 points.

Also voted as Austria’s athlete of the year, Thiem clinched his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open and also made the final of the Australian Open where he eventually lost to Djokovic.


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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.