When Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray and won his first French Open, he made history in the sport. He went on to claim a career Grand Slam. He became the first man after Rod Laver to be holding all the 4 major titles at the same time. This was his 12th overall Slam singles title and 6th tournament championship in 2016. Despite him being one of the greatest men players ever, his achievements have seemingly not received as much recognition as that of others.
Novak Djokovic – Taking Tennis to New Heights
There is no reason why Djokovic doesn’t deserve to be recognized for his achievements in tennis, especially all he’s achieved at just 29 years of age. He has charisma. He is gracious and multilingual, and is famous for his lighthearted personality. Many acknowledge that Djokovic’s presence and achievements have taken the sport to new heights in terms of its strength. The level of tennis has never been better.
Let’s take a look at the person that Djokovic is and how he affects the lives of others in positive ways.
Djokovic Grew Up in a War Torn Country
Every time Djokovic wins, he understands what it means symbolically for his fellow Serbs back home. As a kid he grew up in a war-torn country, and today he is one of the most popular sportspersons in the world. Niki Pilic, Djokovic’s mentor claims that what he has achieved is something similar to conquering the Mount Everest.
As a child he grew under the shadows of low-flying bombers. There are excerpts that claim how his family hid in spaces as small as 60 square meters to protect themselves from being bombed. Things like that, faced at a tender age of 12, are the likes of the ones that help build character.
Novak’s Lighthearted Personality
In spite of the rivalries on the court, many of Djokovic’s fellow players are good friends with him. He is especially known among his circle of acquaintances as a lighthearted person who on occasion will impersonate his fellow players in a humorous way.
One such example witnessed by the audience was in the 2007 US Open quarterfinal where he defeated Carlos Moya. After the victory Djokovic impersonated Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal to entertain the audience.
A Natural Entertainer: Novak Djokovic
Another moment was in the 2009 US Open when he impersonated John McEnroe after his win. At the same venue he played a brief game with the legend after his lighthearted act.
Djokovic’s Show of Kindness to Ball Boy
When Djokovic allowed a ball boy to sit next to him under the umbrella, it was a rare and inspirational break from tradition of the sport. The ball boy was holding an umbrella for the ace player. He not only made room for the lad, but also offered him a bottle of water after taking hold of the umbrella from him.
Learn more about Novak Djokovic at ATP World Tour.
Going Up Against The Greats: Federer, Nadal And Murray
What makes Novak Djokovic greater is that he is living in an era of some of the greatest players in the history of the sport, and he is arguably almost better than them. This has resulted in giving tennis fans some of the best rivalries in its history.
This is perhaps the biggest of these rivalries. Every time Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are on the same court, it is nothing less than the “clash of the titans.” Until now the duo has faced each other 45 times and Djokovic dominates the court with just a single match – 23-22. They have a record 15 Grand Slam matches between each other – 4 finals and a record 10 semifinals. Even more interestingly, both have beaten each other in an equal 4 Grand Slam tournaments on each side.
What makes this rivalry so more fascinating is that you can never tell the outcome of the match every time they step on the court. Both have almost an equal ability to beat the other player on any day and on any court. It is only more intriguing that Federer is the only player to have beaten Djokovic in 4 majors, and it is the same with Djokovic too.
If there is a list of the 2 greatest hard court players (in Open Era), these two are the ones. If you want to watch matches that can go to the longest distances and remain unpredictable for almost the entire duration, it is this rivalry that you should be enjoying.
Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have played 49 matches between each other and Djokovic leads with 26-23. This rivalry came to limelight when the duo went against each other at their first Grand Slam final at the 2010 US Open. Before this year, Federer-Nadal rivalry was the biggest and most followed competition in the sport.
Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic have met 34 times and here again Djokovic holds the lead with a staggering 24-10 wins. The two have played 17 tour finals that include 7 Grand Slam tournaments, and the Serbian player has won 10 of them. The on-court rivalry between the two players is the very opposite off court. Both the players are of the same age and did their training camp together. Going back their junior years, Murray won the first match between them.
Djokovic Resides in Monte Carlo
Djokovic currently lives in beautiful Monte Carlo, Monaco. He shifted to the low profile yet scenic base of the Maritime Alps back in 2011. Even before moving to the place, he spent some great time relaxing during break from ‘work’. He announced in 2011 that he loved being there, especially for its discreetness, and privacy. He also claimed cherishing Monte-Carlo’s unique weather during the harsh European winter.
One of the reasons he moved to Monaco was his popularity in Serbia, where he enjoys a kind of cult-like following. However, Djokovic often visits friends and family back in Belgrade, and says that he misses home.
Djokovic: Goodwill Ambassador
Djokovic has contributed in many ways to make the world a better place. He is a participant in the Champions for Peace Club. It is formed by Peace and Sport, and international organization based in Monaco. This is a club of renowned athletes who are committed to global peace.
Djokovic is also the founder of the Novak Djokovic Foundation that helps underprivileged children in his home country to get education and resources for leading healthy and productive lives. In 2012, at its first fundraising dinner (held in New York), the foundation raised $1.4 million.
Djokovic is also the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. In one of his latest efforts as the ambassador he has been visiting migrant and refugee children who passed through Serbia while heading to Western Europe.
Novak Djokovic sprung from humble beginnings, grew in a war torn country that suffered many losses, and has become one of the top players in the history of tennis. Despite his feats and fame, he has maintained an outlook and impression of a good friend and a great man to the world. The title “Goodwill Ambassador” fits him well.
— Greg Johnson
Greg is a writer, designer and tennis fan.
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