The International Tennis Federation made the announcement Thursday, giving Djokovic the honor for a third consecutive year and Williams for the fourth time in her career.
It was no surprise Serena Williams was the ITF's choice among the women players. Williams was 78-4 on the year, winning a record $12.4 million. She had 11 titles, including wins at the French Open and U.S. Open.
But that Djokovic was chosen over Rafael Nadal was unexpected. Nadal overtook Djokovic for the world No. 1 ranking after winning the U.S. Open and was 75-7 on the year with 10 titles.
Djokovic did have a sterling year, winning a third consecutive Australian Open and finishing second at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. He was 74-9 with seven titles overall.
The ITF honors are determined on an "objective system that considers all results during the year, but gives special weight to the Grand Slam tournaments, and two ITF international team competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas," the ITF said in a release.