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By Akshay Kohli
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Novak Djokovic added another feather in his cap when he was named as one of TIME Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People in the World, following an outstanding year in which he displaced Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to climb to the top spot on the ATP charts.
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 shot making. No one has a more lethal backhand down the line. He got mentally tougher too,” he wrote, indicating how hard work has led to Djokovic's success. 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 elaborated. “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.”
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.
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