A Toast to Novak Djokovic. Sportsman of the Year 2011.
Sports Illustrated didn't hand the 2011 Sportsman of the Year award to Novak Djokovic, so I will. Tennis magazine has, of course, honored the talent as Player of the Year (Nov/Dec '11 issue) but much of the larger sports world (Serbia aside) seemingly hasn't noticed. Perhaps SI's decision is more marketing oriented.
Despite the fact that tennis has become a sport for the fittest, most intelligent and talented of athletes, much of the sports consuming world doesn't follow our game and SI needs to sell magazines.
I get it but Djokovic truly did generate one phenomenal year in sports. Simply put, he won just about every match he played round the globe. His 2011 is marked with a supremely impressive 10 and 1 record against Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and ten tournament titles, three of which were tough Grand Slams (Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open).
Djokovic ends 2011 at #1. I don't think I'll ever forget his missile cross court on Federer's US Open match point. Gutsy talent at its finest.
A little toast with some of that bubbly is absolutely in order.