Hamad Medjedovic’s amazing story: Financial woes, mentoring from Novak Djokovic and winning the Next Gen title
The incredible rise of Hamad Medjedovic continued at the Next Gen ATP Finals when he won the title and Novak Djokovic was one of the first to congratulate him on social media.
And it wasn’t a surprise given the fact that 24-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic had taken the Medjedovic under his wing from a young age.
The Medjedovic-Djokovic connection goes back to 2021 when the youngster was still competing at amateur level and the tennis great stepped in to help him on the court and off the court.
In an interview with Serbia’s Sportal in 2022, Hamad’s father Eldin revealed: “Novak is really trying hard for Hamad. In all ways: financially, mentally and socially.
Eldin added: “Novak told me: ‘Edo, I don’t do this for money! I have a place where I earn money. Simply, my role and my task is to help. What kind of person would I be if I didn’t help children who deserve it, who love tennis, still getting results, help?’
“I listen to him, and he adds: ‘You know what we’re going to do? Tomorrow, when Hamad succeeds, you will also take someone whom you will help!'”
And the tennis legend has kept his word, resulting in an inspirational rise for Medjedovic.
In 2022 when Djokovic won the Wimbledon title, the young Medjedovic had his own success in Ludenscheid, Germany, as he won his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title.
Djokovic was quick to send him a congratulatory message.
This year the 21-year-old followed it up with three more Challenger Tour titles and it resulted in qualification for the Next Gen ATP Finals.
Before the tournament Medjedovic spoke of his admiration for Djokovic and hopes of following in his footsteps.
“I remember meeting him when I was 10 I think and it was my birthday,” he told the official ATP Tour website.
“I was in Belgrade and the former Davis Cup captain [Bogdan Obradovic] was working at his academy. I was practising there and he took me to the Novak Centre. I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I remember Novak coming and we met there for the first time.
“It was the first time I had seen him in person and I got to talk to him. We just had a couple of words exchanged, and I think at the time it was the biggest thing of my life that happened. I had watched him on TV and now all of a sudden I got to talk to him a little bit. It was a great opportunity.”
And just a couple of weeks after Djokovic captured a seventh ATP Finals trophy, Medjedovic left his mark on the Next Gen Finals as he went unbeaten in the group phase before defeating top seed and favourite Arthur Fils 3–4(6–8), 4–1, 4–2, 3–4(9-11), 4–1 in the final.
“Two of us from Serbia. He won the big Masters, the real one, and I won the Next Gen. Obviously it’s a huge thing and I’m happy to follow in his footsteps in some way,” Medjedovic said after his win.
Medjedovic finished the year at No 111 in the ATP Rankings as no points were on offer at the season-ending event, but he did walk away with a cheque of $514,000 after being undefeated during the tournament.
That is a massive payday for someone whose career earnings were $415,858 before the event.
But it is surely just the start of things to come for the 20-year-old as previous winners Stefanos Tsitsipas, Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz all went on to achieve great things at ATP Tour level and they didn’t have Djokovic as a mentor.
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