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Djokovic Named Among TIME Magazine's Top Influencers

Novak Djokovic

Djokovic© Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic is among TIME's Top 100 influencers.

Novak Djokovic has been named one of TIME Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People in the World, following a phenomenal year in which he displaced Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the top of the men’s game.

TIME’s sports editor Bill Saporito hailed Djokovic’s transformation from “the sport’s top doormat” to World No. 1 and Serbian national hero. “While he yukked it up, he also upped his training regimen and refined his exquisite baseline shotmaking. No one has a more lethal backhand down the line. He got mentally tougher too,” he wrote, explaining how Djokovic went on to win four of the past five majors.

 “With Nadal and Federer hounding him, staying No. 1 will be difficult,” Saporito added. “But having worked for years to get there, he'll enjoy every moment of it.”

Djokovic was among six athletes named to the list, joining Jeremy Lin, Lionel Messi, Oscar Pistorious, Tim Tebow and Yani Tseng.

“If an athlete makes you cheer, he or she is influencing your life,” TIME Magazine explained. “If an athlete offers an escape, that escape is indeed influential in your life. If an athlete inspires – well, that’s the definition of influence, right? World-class athletes, by nature, are influential, especially in today’s media-saturated world. They are objects of our intrigue, on a 24-7 basis.”

This is the fifth time in six years that an ATP World Tour player has been selected for the TIME 100. Federer was on the list in 2007 and ’10 and Nadal in 2009 and ’11.

In the complementary online poll in which readers were asked to rank the Top 100, Djokovic finished as the 13th most influential figure, placing him ahead of the likes of Adele, Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg.

TIME 100: Djokovic The Tennis Champ  

View Full List  | View TIME 100 Poll

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© Kate Whitney Lucey

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