Djokovic named Balkan athlete of the year

SOFIA Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:39pm IST

Novak Djokovic of Serbia signs autographs for fans after defeating Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic in their men's singles quarter-final match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

Novak Djokovic of Serbia signs autographs for fans after defeating Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic in their men's singles quarter-final match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Daniel Munoz

SOFIA (Reuters) - Serbia's world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic has been named Balkan Athlete of the Year, the Bulgarian state news agency (BTA) said on Tuesday.

Djokovic, who won the Australian Open last year before finishing runner-up at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, became the first Serb to scoop the prize since Yugoslavia collapsed in the early 1990s.

The 25-year-old beat Turkey's Asli Cakir Alptekin, who won the women's 1,500 metres gold at the London Olympics.

Croatian Sandra Perkovic, women's discus champion at the 2012 Games, came third in the annual poll.

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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