So Who Had The Better Year, Serena Williams Or Novak Djokovic?
by Sean Randall | December 14th, 2015, 2:22 pm
  • 77 Comments

I was going to leave a comment on the Serena SI thread, but instead I’ll expand to a full post. Earlier today Serena took home the SI Sportsperson of the Year award (more or less a Lifetime Achievement award). And she’s deserving and I’m happy tennis finally got some recognition by the magazine and that horse didn’t win.

Sadly, though, Novak Djokovic probably will never win the award. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal also probably never will. Not because they don’t deserve it – they do (Federer and Nadal should have already won it)! But they are not American and they play tennis which is barely on the radar here unless you can make off court pop news like Serena.

But looking strictly at 2015, Djokovic had the better season than Serena. Serena had the history, the pressure, the attention but in the end Novak had the results.

In men’s tennis you have Roger Federer, Andy Murray and even Rafael Nadal who, granted, isn’t what he once was, but that’s still miles better than the current WTA landscape which after Serena is really faceless.

Simona Halep finished second reaching just one Slam semifinal all year. Garbine Muguruza third? Talk about a weak field! And Serena didn’t even play after New York. That bothers me as well.

So while I understand Serena had the spotlight and the global eye, Novak also won three Slams, beat 31 Top 10 players, made 15 straight finals and played a complete season, winning in January in Australia and finishing it off taking the London title.

Advantage Novak.


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77 Comments for So Who Had The Better Year, Serena Williams Or Novak Djokovic?

Delonjo Says:

Djokovic had the better year, per se. And that’s a big “per se.” However, Djokovic hasn’t been winning majors since 1999 and hasn’t been dominant for the past five years.


Giles Says:

Joker will never win this award – he’s Serbian.


elina Says:

Sean nails it again!


Gypsy Gal Says:

I would say Novak as he made all four GS finals where as Serena fell short,im sure she will surpass Steffi next year,as she has very little in terms of competition….


Wog Boy Says:

@Delonjo,

I thought this award goes for the achievements in calendar year not a lifetime achievements?

Elina,

Sean is on a roll, may it has something to do with coming holiday season..


Wog Boy Says:

“Joker will never win this award – he’s Serbian.”

So Rafa didn’t get it because he is Spaniard and Roger because he is Swiss?


Wog Boy Says:

Serena is so “fit” that she can’t even run her own charity marathon (5km) but Venus did complete it, don’t you think it is a bit of disrespect, to people who joined your charity marathon, to catch a cab to drive you to finish line just after running 2km, it was last night on the news here:

“Tennis star Serena Williams has been spotted getting a cab to the finishing line of her own 5k run, which was raising funds for her charity foundation.”
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3358335/Serena-Williams-spotted-getting-TAXI-finishing-line-charity-run-foundation.html


Gypsy Gal Says:

Agree with your post Wogboy,it makes a bit of a mockery of the whole thing,i hope we are still cool BTW?….


Wog Boy Says:

Of course we are GG.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Thanks Wogboy ;)….


RZ Says:

Just looking at 2015 metrics, Djokovic clearly had a better 2015. No way to argue against that.

But if you start looking at the intangibles, there’s a lot on Serena’s side. She accomplished the “Serena slam” by winning the Wimbledon, and by winning the French got her 3rd career slams.

In any case, there’s no point arguing that Novak should have won the SI Sportsperson of the Year award. It almost never goes to a non-American, no matter how deserving the nominee.


RZ Says:

“I’m happy tennis finally got some recognition by the magazine and that horse didn’t win.”

I echo Sean’s sentiments!


mikikant@libero.it Says:

Qualunque sia il motivo è scandaloso che Nole non abbia vinto come miglior giocatore dell’anno perché nessuno è stato migliore di lui. Ha giocato tutti i mesi dell’anno e ha vinto moltissimo. Più di tutti gli altri. Il miglior tennista è NOVAK DJOKOVIC!!!


Wog Boy Says:

This is front page of today’s The Daily Telegraph,
“GRAND SHAM”
is the title, I don’t remember such a big letters being used since Monica Lewinsky thing:

http://www.pressreader.com/australia/the-daily-telegraph-sydney/20151215/281479275361185/TextView


Wog Boy Says:

^^^^When you open the link slide to your left for the front page.


jane Says:

now these are some awards i can get behind: from the tennis channel:

man of the year – novak djokovic
woman of the year – serena williams

men’s coach of the year – boris becker
women’s coach of the year – patrick mouratoglou

men’s player of the year- andy murray
women’s players of the year – martina hingis

sportsman of the year – novak djokovic
sportswoman of the year – flavia penneta

men’s match of the year – novak djokovic vs roger federer us open final

women’s match of the year – serena williams vs maria sharapova ausralian open

rationale here:

http://tennischannel.com/the-2015-flink-awards/


Margot Says:

Thanks for the link jane :)
Brilliant write up for Andy, concluding with: “Andy Murray, men’s player of the year 2015, he wears that label well.”
Sure does. More :)


jane Says:

you’re welcome margot. i thought flink had super nice words for andy’s dc run, lovely things on pennetta and hingis, and some good thoughts on novak/serena too.


Giles Says:

Poor Yolita is gutted joker didn’t win the SI Award! 🤑


django Says:

Giles, they do not give the award to foreigners. I still say they should give Serena the swimsuit edition.


Giles Says:

django. All said and done Serena ain’t no model.


django Says:

But the swimsuit edition should feature a female athlete instead of a random model. After all it is called “sports illustrated” not vogue.


EN Says:

SI is an American magazine. So there is no way they are going to not give it to her. No disrespect to Serena’s CAREER,I am a fan of hers. But Djokovic was most dominant athlete in the world in 2015. And the so called SI award is for 2015, not a career.


Yolita Says:

Giles, what gave you the idea that I am gutted? Lol

Do you think I thought, even for a minute, that the SI award would go to a non-American? Do you think I thought, even for a minute, that a panel would give Novak an award that Roger has never won? You must thing I’m 5 years old.

Thanks for thinking so much about me, anyway, :D

For what it’s worth, I am very happy that Serena won the award, as I said on Twitter. Long overdue, given her accomplishments.

To jump from from there to the conclusion that her season was better than Novak’s is ridiculous, read the Jared Pine piece.

I don’t see why SI bothers to nominate non-Americans, but if they do, they shouldn’t get a hater to make their case, which is what happened to Novak. The woman who supposedly made his case couldn’t hide the fact that even writing his name offended her pen… Hilarious stuff…

Also for what it’s worth, and this may give you an inkling to my personality, part of me is hoping that Novak doesn’t get any awards this year, precisely the year when he posts the best male tennis season posted in almost half a century. It would be surrealistic, :D


Ben Pronin Says:

I think we should all be happy a tennis player won for the first time in over 20 years. Considering the favorite was a horse, and Steph Curry is a human cheat code, this is a huge deal.


RZ Says:

Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated joined the No Challenges Remaining podcast yesterday to discuss why Serena was chosen as the winner. http://nochallengesremaining.podbean.com/

Also, I agree with Ben – happy that a tennis player won.


jane Says:

wertheim was the one who made her case in the first place… so there’s no surprises there.


mat4 Says:

He even wrote a book about the Williams sister.

Nice example of intellectual honesty.


mat4 Says:

… sisters… It was about Venus.


RZ Says:

@Jane – no surprises, but he is a high up for SI and shares some insight.

He made a compelling case for Serena (contrasted to the case for Djokovic, which gave info on his stellar 2015 but didn’t seem passionate at all). It was interesting to hear him say he wishes he had made a stronger case for Federer in 2006 (when Dwayne Wade won) and how that affected how he made the case for Serena..


RZ Says:

@Mat4 – I didn’t read “Venus Envy” but I thought it was about all of the women (Hingis, Kournikova, Davenport, etc.) during that year on tour. I always thought he just used that title because he thought it was witty and would catch attention.


jane Says:

rz, thanks, and yep, again not surprising: wertheim is a self-admitted fed fan and thus not too fond of novak, esp in the past 2 years. ;)


RZ Says:

@Jane – but he’s definitely given Novak his due in his mailbag. I think if Serena wasn’t in the running for the award, he would have backed Novak and made a better case than the person who did the write-up. (Not that it would have mattered, Novak was never going to win it).


mat4 Says:

@RZ:

Yes, other players are mentioned, although not as much as the Williams sisters (the surname “Williams” occurs 200 times on 230 pages). Here’s an example:

“Serena hates Martina, and Martina hates Venus, and Venus hates Lindsay, and everybody hates Kournikova.” p. 150


Wog Boy Says:

“..and everybody hates Kournikova.”

How wrong one can be?!


Wog Boy Says:

“..and everybody hates Kournikova.”

How wrong one can be!


mat4 Says:

@WB:

Today, he would have written “… and everybody hates Sharapova”…

How wrong one can be!


Wog Boy Says:

mat4,
But you are not wrong!


RZ Says:

@Mat4 and WB – LOL. There was the recent “Sharapova and Friends” exhibition in L.A. but I heard plenty of people remark about it “I thought Sharapova had no friends.” From the pics I saw, the stands were half empty. Not so many friends after all.


Gypsy Gal Says:

When it comes to Kournikova,Pam Shcriver once said she threatened to wear out the mirrors in the dressing rooms as she spend that much time posing and admiring herself,she once said supposedly im like a menu in an expensive restaurant beautiful you can look but you cant afford me, she was gorgeous but if ever there was a player so full of herself and so unbelievably irritating it was her….


mat4 Says:

RZ:

Sharapova doesn’t need friends. She has money and men. And sweets.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Sharapova was on Chelsea lately,and said i have a reputation for been a bit of a b*tch as im not in this to make friends,i dont give the other girls high fives in the showers i try to get out of there as soon as possible as its not my thing,or words to that effect anyway….


Gypsy Gal Says:

Mat4 imagine when shes older,and has had 2/3 kids,and if suffering with middle age spread,and losing her looks what then?….


Chrisford1 Says:

SI probably shouldn’t even nominate foreigners if the conventional protocol is to only award Sportsman of the Year to Americans only.

Guess you could say the SI Sportsman of the Year is as rigged as the Stefan Edberg Award is.

Fortunately, SI does not make the Swimsuit Issue models show US citizenship, with no paid gig at the beach for any ‘furroner’ bikini’d sweeties. We’d all be the poorer for that!

It isn’t the 1st time a tennis player has gotten the award in over 20 years (Ashe 1992) , it is almost 40 years (Evert 1976) since a tennis athlete was considered the best athlete of the year. The award for Ashe, who retired back in 1980, was political. The decision of the naming of Arthur Ashe Stadium was also a political act, not because he was even close to being the best or most influential American tennis athlete of the last 50 or so years.


RZ Says:

@Mat4 – as Wog Boy would say, “you are not wrong.”


Wog Boy Says:

Since both of them are adopted by America, may something American rubbed off on them..


Wog Boy Says:

RZ,

I’ll buy you a drink, pick time and place:)


mat4 Says:

GG:

What’s a b*tch?

A song for you too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oJ0ovkS864

Ronsard wrote:

Quand vous serez bien vieille, au soir, à la chandelle,
Assise auprès du feu, dévidant et filant,
Direz, chantant mes vers, en vous émerveillant :
Ronsard me célébrait du temps que j’étais belle.

When you are very old, by the hearth’s glare,
At candle-time, spinning and winding thread,
You ‘ll sing my lines, and say, astonished :
Ronsard made these for me, when I was fair.


RZ Says:

Looks like I have more friends than Kournikova or Sharapova. :-)
@Mat4 – thanks for the song.
@Wog Boy – cheers!


Wog Boy Says:

mat4,

Where is the song for me?


mat4 Says:

@WB:

A song for you, of course:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vRYwaJC5FY

It’s of another kind, but I am sure your Slavic soul will appreciate it.


jane Says:

you guys are awesome! this thread has become quite entertaining. :D


mat4 Says:

@jane:

That’s because we are men. To quote Dick Masterson, you know: “Space, the final men’s frontier” :-)

But now, some poetry and a song for you, not about tennis, of course, I’m sick of arguing:

Regrets on which hell is founded
Might a sky of oblivion open to my wishes
For her kiss all worldly kings
Would die poor famous ones
For her they would have sold their shadow

I hibernated in my past
Let the Easter sun return
To warm a heart more frozen
Than the forty of Sebastus
Less than my martyrized life

My beautiful ship O my memory
Have we sailed far enough
In a watersea vile to drink
Have we rambled go and fro enough
From the fair dawn to the melancholy dusk

Milky Way O light sisters
Of Canaan the white streams
And of Women in love’ white bodies
Died swimmers shall we awkwardly follow
Your course to further nebulæ

And this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gw9ANFOuMBU

Happy birthday, jane!


mat4 Says:

Should I also make a gift for Sean Randall?


Wog Boy Says:

It looks like Sean doesn’t have too many friends here;)

mat4, you know that you have to pay music in Serbia in restaurants if you want them to play your songs, it is not set price, everything depends how drunk one is, but I’ll give you this one for free:

http://youtu.be/ZMEIuT4iF8Q


mat4 Says:

Twenty years ago, I met a teacher of French from Smederevo. I few times a year, I still dream about her.

We used to listen to this song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTLR4rEecm4

Thanks, WB.


Wog Boy Says:

You and the teacher had a good ear and heart for the good music, they are not a “Legende” by the name only, they are real legends when it comes to this kind of music. All what you need is nice lady sitting next to you, “Rubinovo Rose” and “Sifon sode”…and something for nibbling while you are enjoying the music in the company of your lady.


Chrisford1 Says:

Agree with Jane. Flinck says some wonderfully insightful things about Flavia Penneta, Hingis, and Andy Murray.
For all the attention Fed got facing Nole in 2 Majors and being the only one to beat him twice, let alone the 3 actual times – it certainly should not be forgotten that Andy Murray, not Fed, finished #2.

And over in the realm of Team Djokovic, if there is one player Marian, Boris, and Nole should focus on for the 1st half of the year, it is not Fed, the slim odds that Stan can stay consistent a whole Slam or deep into the Olympics that looms as the biggest challenge. It is Andy Murray. While Novak has pummeled Murray 10-1 since Wimbledon 2013 – Andy gave him fits in Australia and took a huge battle to Novak in the 5-setter they played in the French Open semis.

Andy is for sure the Sportsman of the Year for GBR. And Flink properly acknowledges that this Davis Cup was Andy accepting the challenge to carry the team and doing so.
Flavia, for the class she brought to the sport, so deserved to go out on the high note she did. And her beau Fabio played the match of his life at the same USO to down Nadal.
Hingis? A true phoenix came to tennis in 2015. WHAT SHE Accomplished with her Indian team mates Sania and Leander is one of the best storylines of 2015.

Rafa should not be the forgotten one, BTW. He confronted his bad year with total class. And is ready once again to take on the entire Tour in 2016 and beat everyone more often than not save Djokovic.

The Flink article is brilliant. I echo Jane and Margot – well worth a read.


jane Says:

wow mat4, i am utterly flattered… poetry AND a song? thank-you! *blushes* [never enough apollinaire...]

but just so you know my b.day is in the summer. :)

————

chrisford1, glad you liked it. steve flink is the bomb.


Chrisford1 Says:

For all Wog Boy’s stuff on good music, this is NOT Good Music!!!

Andy, Nole, Tomic, Isner, Bryan Bros and etc., etc.. TRY to sing Rudolf . Federer, Stan, and Kei have non-singing parts, mercifully.

https://youtu.be/N9xlHnSv2zM

All too short.
Funny outfits, but you only see a flash or two of some of the guys. Hope there is more. Andy deadpanning well, Nole seeming to get into it more than most…


bojana Says:

Thank You Jane,

Flink is right person to believe in his views.The article is more then brilliant.I am happy that there are people like him.

Once more Jane,glad that You are Nole’s fan.


Wog Boy Says:

“but just so you know my b.day is in the summer. :)”

Typical French, he is going to wish you happy birthday every day until he gets it right or finds out when is it;)


Wog Boy Says:

Thanks CF1, not quite the legends, but good effort:)


Okiegal Says:

The birds have flown in and settled right here on the TX forum……as per my comment :)


Okiegal Says:

You all need to get a room!!! :)


jane Says:

wog boy, you’re really having a go at the frenchies today. :)

bojana, awesome! thanks and so glad you liked the link too. steve flink also does some video commentary with ubaldo scanagatta sometimes which is very entertaining and worth a look! there’s a good interview between vajda and scanagatta on youtube, too. cheers.

okie, the birds? you must mean you, gypsy, and j-kath surely? ;)


RZ Says:

Don’t be jealous Okie. I’m sure Mat4 will send you a song if you ask. As for Wog Boy and myself, it’s just a drink. :-)


Okiegal Says:

@RZ…..I will take a pass on the song….if you can’t scoot a boot to the music, then furgit it!!
I would rather have the drink, and I don’t even par take of any type of “spirits”…….LOL The closeness between all of the Novak fans is awesome! Am I jealous??? Maybe a teeny weeny bit…. :) lol


RZ Says:

@Okie – to think, all of this love started by us talking about Kournikova and Sharapova not having any friends. :-)


Okiegal Says:

@Jane 11:49

Yes, I meant the Rafa fans…..all two of us! Oh, I forgot Giles….that is three….. lol


Okiegal Says:

@RZ….Thanks for reminding me what started the discussion, I had forgotten, but I am enjoying it.

Jane, isn’t J Kath an Andy fan? He’s my second fav.


mat4 Says:

@Okie:

Don’t be surprised. We exchanged a lot of poetry here a few years ago. jane teaches literature, and I am a linguist by (de)formation.

But it really never wasn’t poetry AND a song. Just poetry. Or just a song.

Since you’re a Rafan, you can’t have poetry, but here’s a song for you too (and it’s not “The eye of the tiger”):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei5pWAimWqE

And don’t blush.


Okiegal Says:

@Mat4

I had never heard of Carla Bruni. Wow, she has a beautiful voice! I am going to you tube some more of her songs. I loved that one I just heard. She has a sultry voice. What nationality is she? Thanks for introducing me to her….very nice music…..I’m off to you tube!!


Gypsy Gal Says:

Mat4 many thanks for the song,the I was missing,as i didnt want to get put in moderation,anyway love Robert Plant,i actually loved all the music links you and Wogboy put up thanks again guys ;)….


Giles Says:

Yolita. Yeah, yeah, sour grapes? :)

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