Sports Personality of the Year 2011: Novak Djokovic wins overseas award

Tennis star Novak Djokovic, who won three of the sport's four Grand Slams in 2011, has been named as BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year.

The 24-year-old won his first 41 matches of the year and deposed Spain's Rafael Nadal as world number one.

In addition to winning the Australian Open, US Open and Wimbledon, the Serb picked up another seven singles titles.

He beat Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi and German Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel to the award.

It is the sixth time in the past 11 years that a tennis player has won the award and the winner was decided by a panel of sports editors from national and regional newspapers and magazines.

TOP SINGLE-SEASON STATS

  • John McEnroe (1984) 82 wins 3 losses
  • Jimmy Connors (1974) 93-4
  • Roger Federer (2005) 81-4
  • Roger Federer (2006) 92-5
  • Bjorn Borg (1979) 84-6
  • Ivan Llendl (1986) 74-6
  • Roger Federer (2004) 74-6
  • Ivan Llendl (1985) 84-7
  • Ivan Llendl (1982) 106-9
  • Bjorn Borg (1980) 70-6
  • Novak Djokovic (2011) 70-6

Djokovic lost only six of his 76 matches this season - and two of those defeats came after he retired from matches.

His climb to the top of the world rankings, ending a period of more than seven years when the position had been held by either Nadal or Roger Federer.

Djokovic began the year at a canter, securing straight-sets victories over Federer and British number one Andy Murray in the semi-finals and final of the Australian Open in January.

It was the second Grand Slam triumph of the Belgrade native's career following victory in the same event in 2008.

Djokovic then beat Nadal twice en route to titles at Indian Wells and Miami and continued his dominance on the Spaniard's preferred clay surface with wins in Rome and Madrid.

A run of victories that stretched back to Serbia's win in the Davis Cup in December 2010 was finally ended by Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the French Open.

RECENT OVERSEAS SPORTS PERSONALITY WINNERS

  • 2010 Rafael Nadal (Tennis)
  • 2009 Usain Bolt (Athletics)
  • 2008 Usain Bolt
  • 2007 Roger Federer (Tennis)
  • 2006 Roger Federer
  • 2005 Shane Warne (Cricket)
  • 2004 Roger Federer
  • 2003 Lance Armstrong (Cycling)
  • 2002 Ronaldo (Football)
  • 2001 Goran Ivanisevic (Tennis)

But Djokovic's 6-4 6-1 1-6 6-3 victory over defending champion Nadal at Wimbledon in July ensured he climbed to the top of the world rankings for the first time.

A shoulder injury forced him to withdraw while trailing Murray in the final at Cincinnati but Djokovic retained enough form and fitness to claim the US Open at Flushing Meadows in September.

After twice saving match point against Federer in the semi-finals, the right-hander beat Nadal for the sixth time in 2011 to clinch the title 6-2 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 6-1.

With his shoulder complaint becoming more persistent, Djokovic's year came to an underwhelming end with a surprise defeat by Japanese world number Kei Nishikori in Basle and an exit from the group stages of the World Tour Finals at London's O2 Arena.

Archive: Novak Djokovic secures 2011 Wimbledon title (UK only)