Tuesday February 7th, 2012

Novak Djokovic continued his year-long streak of winning practically everything in sight by taking home the 2012 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award. The Laureus awards have always been good to tennis, with years past seeing the Sportsman or Sportswoman of the Year awards go to Rafael Nadal (2011), Roger Federer ('05-'08), Serena Williams ('03, '10), Justine Henin ('08) and Jennifer Capriati ('02). In fact, since its inception in 2000, a tennis player has received the Sportsman or Sportswoman of the Year award in nine of  the 13 years.

But enough with all that. The Laureus Awards are an excuse for some of tennis' top stars to scrub up, throw on a tuxedo, and pretend they don't spend their days punishing a little fuzzy ball under the blazing sun.

(Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)

Djokovic and his girlfriend, Jelena Ristic, were dressed to the nines for the awards. Can I start referring to Ristic as "Serbian Barbie?" And I totally mean that as a complement.

*****

(Getty Images)

Before the Awards, Djokovic was invited to 10 Downing Street for a quick chat with British Prime Minister David Cameron. Oh to be a fly on the wall. What are they talking about? The merits of Scottish independence? The cat that wandered onto the pitch during the Liverpool/Tottenham game? Maggie Smith's winning turn as the Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey?

Downton Abbey. Definitely Downton Abbey.

*****

(EPA)

Also in attendance were Petra Kvitova and Esther Vergeer, nominated for Breakthrough Athlete and Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability (yes, that's actually the formal award title), respectively. Vergeer looked great, and let's face it, anyone who hasn't lost a single match since 2003 deserves to win Sportsperson of the Year in perpetuity (Vergeer lost out to double-amputee sprint runner Oscar Pistorius). As for Kvitova, she was edged out by Caroline Wozniacki's main squeeze Rory McIlroy.

Speaking of golf, I'm going to give Kvitova a style-mulligan and move on.

*****

(Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Djokovic salutes two-time Laureus Sportsperson of the Year Usain Bolt ('09, '10). Next up, the Heisman. Come on, you know it would be cool.

*****

(Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Boris Becker handing Djokovic his award: "If I give you this award will you follow me on Twitter? I promise my tweets are untimely, uninformative, but always amusing."

*****

Back row, L-R: Sean Fitzpatrick, Gary Player, Nadia Comaneci, Novak Djokovic, Boris Becker, Oscar Pistorius, Steve Redgrave, Mark Spitz. Front row L-R: Dame Kelly Holmes, Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, David Cameron, Edwin Moses and Martina Navratilova. (Getty Images)

Dear Prime Minister Cameron: Please make this your cabinet office. But keep an eye on that Boris character. You just never know...

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.