Who are Novak Djokovic’s parents? Outspoken father Srdjan and ‘superwoman’ mother Dijana

Ewan West
Novak Djokovic's parents Srdjan and Diana Djokovic
Novak Djokovic's parents Srdjan and Diana Djokovic

Novak Djokovic’s parents Dijana and Srdjan have played a crucial role in the tennis legend’s career, but how much do you know about the Serbian’s mother and father?

The 37-year-old, who is currently competing at Wimbledon, has regularly been supported by his parents during matches, particularly in his earlier years on tour.

After winning a record-extending 24th Grand Slam title at the 2023 US Open, Djokovic paid tribute to his parents for giving him the opportunity to be a professional tennis player.

“Coming from a very difficult circumstances in adversities during 90s, couple of wars in our country and being able to push through that, especially for my parents, giving a lot of sacrifice to support me to play. Love you, thank you so much,” he said during the trophy ceremony.

“To support me to play the sport that is very expensive sport and, at that time very expensive, not accessible, not affordable, but you know, I fell in love with tennis.

“No one has played tennis in my family before, so it was quite a choice, I must say. But incredible resilience, just belief from my parents, from all the people around me all these years.”

This resilience is undoubtedly a quality Djokovic inherited and has showcased throughout his astonishing career as he has become the player many regard as the greatest in the sport’s history.

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Who are Novak Djokovic’s parents?

Novak Djokovic was born on 22 May 1987 to father Srdjan Djokovic and mother Dijana Djokovic in Belgrade, Serbia, which was part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at the time.

Srdjan Djokovic was born and grew up in northern Kosovo to an ethnically Serbian family and later moved to Belgrade.

He was a professional skier and ski instructor and met his future wife, Dijana Zagar — who comes from a Croatian family — at the Brezovica winter resort. The pair owned and ran a restaurant and a sports equipment shop in the Serbian highlands.

Where is Novak Djokovic from?

Djokovic hailed the huge sacrifices his parents made during his childhood to support his tennis dreams, despite the family having no background in the sport.

“I remember that at one point, my dad took out a 10 Deutsche Mark bill and put it on the table and he said, ‘This is all we got’. You know, which is equivalent to 10 dollars nowadays, maybe even less,” Djokovic said in an interview with Graham Bersinger in 2020.

“At that time, it was really not about tennis, it was more about us surviving as a family and having bread to eat during the day. But somehow my parents found a way and they were a great team.

“For a long time, they did hide and they succeeded in hiding a lot of things that made them suffer. They had to sacrifice in order for me to pursue my love for tennis, my love for sport. There were certain things that they could not just hide from me, I could clearly see.”

The Serbian added: “My mom was and still is the pillar of the family, she has that stability and holds everyone together.

“She’s an incredibly strong woman and truly an inspiring woman that has had to handle four men in a very small apartment with all our different needs and activities. She did everything one woman could possibly do. She’s a superwoman, literally.

“At that time, when you had a dollar bill of 10 Deutsche Mark for an entire family of five, it took a lot of guts to stick with the vision of supporting me to become a successful professional tennis player.

“On the court, when I somehow need to find a way and find that strength, that’s the dad (Srdjan) in me.”

Srdjan Djokovic’s outspoken nature has made him a controversial figure, and he has rarely held back when expressing his thoughts on his son’s rivals — particularly Roger Federer.

In 2021, Srdjan claimed Federer “attacked” his son. Speaking to K1 TV, he said: “15 years ago, he (Federer) attacked my son when he was still young at 18-19 years old, he knew that someone better than him was coming.

“I said then that he was a great champion, the best at that time, but as much as he is a great champion, he is also not a good man.”

During the 2023 Australian Open, Djokovic’s father sparked outrage when he posed for photos with a group of Vladimir Putin supporters. However, Srdjan explained that this was unintentional and he was not aware of who the group were.