Novak Djokovic - Wimbledon 2023

Novak Djokovic labelled the ‘disruptor’ after ATP Award snub

Novak Djokovic fans have vented their frustrations after he was not on the shortlist for the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, and former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has given an insight as to why this might be.

Djokovic has won three Grand Slam titles, two Masters 1000 titles and the ATP Finals in 2023, but the Serb has not been featured in the shortlist for the year-end awards.

Comeback player, most improved player and newcomer of the year are not applicable to the 24-time major winner, but fans of the Serb are most frustrated that he was not nominated for the sportsmanship award.

Until 2022 when Casper Ruud took home the title, the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award had been won by Djokovic’s rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the 18 years in a row.

And 2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has had her say on this, “I just feel that Novak raises himself and is even stronger when he is against adversity. He likes to play and compete against it.”

The Frenchwoman continued, “I think people just got used so much to two players facing each other. If you look at the history of tennis it was (Bjorn) Borg against (John) McEnroe, it was (Pete) Sampras against (Andre) Agassi and it was Roger (Federer) against (Rafa) Nadal. You are not used to having a third one.

“The third one feels like the disruptor. You want to cheer for one or the other. You say ‘I was to cheer for Roger’ or ‘I want to cheer for Rafa’. You don’t want the third one that comes in and wins everything.”

READ NEXT – ATP Winners: Novak Djokovic and four other players who had a fine 2023 season

ATP Award Nominees 

Although Djokovic has not been nominated for an award himself, his coach Goran Ivanisevic has.

Here is the full shortlist for the five different awards:

Comeback Player of the Year (Voted for by the ATP players)

  • Dominik Koepfer
  • Gael Monfils
  • Jan-Lennard Struff
  • Alexander Zverev

Most Improved Player of the Year (Voted for by the ATP players)

  • Matteo Arnaldi
  • Christopher Eubanks
  • Ben Shelton
  • Jannik Sinner

Newcomer of the Year (Voted for by the ATP players)

  • Flavio Cobolli
  • Arthur Fils
  • Alex Michelsen
  • Dominic Stricker
  • Luca Van Assche

Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award (Voted for by the ATP players)

  • Carlos Alcaraz
  • Grigor Dimitrov
  • Hubert Hurkacz
  • Jannik Sinner

Coach of the Year (Voted for by ATP Coaches)

  • Craig Boynton (Hubert Hurkacz)
  • Darren Cahill and Simone Vagnozzi (Jannik Sinner)
  • Juan Carlos Ferrero (Carlos Alcaraz)
  • Goran Ivanisevic (Novak Djokovic)
  • Bryan Shelton (Ben Shelton)

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.