Djokovic and Williams reign supreme in 2015 despite shock defeats
The silky Serbian fell to defeat in the French Open final against Stan Wawrinka in Roland Garros, robbing him of a calendar Grand Slam.
Djokovic has never won the French competition, finishing as runner-up in the last three years, but made amends with dominance elsewhere.
The 28-year-old was simply too good at the Australian and US Opens, while also claiming his third Wimbledon crown.
Djokovic’s 2015 comprised 11 titles and on-court earnings of $21 million, with 82 wins and just six defeats over the 12 months.
It means the Belgrade-born star now has 10 Grand Slams to his name, with 59 trophies and $94 million in prize money won over an imperious career.
Djokovic reached the final of every tournament he entered, apart from the Qatar Open, where Ivo Karlovic recorded a shock quarter-final scalp.
The Serb is clearly a fierce competitor, which shone through when he was reduced to tears after losing the French Open final to Wawrinka.
Elsewhere in the men’s game, veteran Roger Federer wound back the years to reach the Wimbledon and US Open finals. However, he could not land his first major since 2012, losing to Djokovic on both occasions.
Andy Murray finished the year as world number two and led Britain to Davis Cup glory for the first time in 79 years.
Serena Williams was almost unbeatable in the women’s game, prevailing at Wimbledon and the French and Australian Opens.
However, Italian underdog Roberta Vinci defied the odds and came from a set down to shock the American in the US Open semi-finals.
The world number 43 went on to lose the final to compatriot Flavia Pennetta, while Williams chances of a calendar Grand Slam were botched.
Williams was still named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year after winning five titles and taking her Grand Slam tally to 21.
This means that she now trails only Margaret Court, 24, and Steffi Graf, 22, in the all-time list of majors winners.
The 34-year-old ended the year as world number one for the third straight season and fifth time overall, winning 53 matches and losing just three.
The American’s performance in 2015 comes after a poor year by her own high standards in 2014, where she was knocked out in the early stages of three of the four major tournaments.
Williams has been Maria Sharapova’s nemesis over the years and defeated the Russian for the 17th consecutive time in the Wimbledon semi-finals.