Mind-blowing facts about world No 1 Novak Djokovic that you probably didn’t know

Novak Djokovic during a match

Novak Djokovic is one of the most accomplished tennis players in the world. The star has earned the love of his fans, but do they know everything about him?

The Serbian great loved skiing and football from a young age, but tennis was his absolute favourite. There was nothing that could stop him from training.

Djokovic was destined to be a great player, having picked up his first racket at age four, which he received from his father – Srdjan Djokovic.

“Belief is the most common word to me, even more than hope. For one to achieve his dreams, he needs to believe them truly,” says an inspiring Novak Djokovic.

His father is an entrepreneur and a former professional skier and skiing coach.

The Serbian already had the ability to turn people’s heads with his talent. In 1993, he was seen playing by Jelena Gencic. The Yugoslav tennis player complemented a six-year-old Djokovic by saying that he was the most remarkable talent she had ever seen since tennis great Monica Seles. She then trained the world No 1 for the next six years.

When he turned 13, the teenager went to the Pilic Academy in Munich in hopes of pursuing higher levels of competition. The following year he began his international career at just the age of 14.

In 2001, 14-year-old Djokovic became a triple European champion, winning the singles, doubles, and team competitions. He also came second, receiving a silver medal, at the World Junior Championship.

He started his own foundation in 2007, known as the ‘Novak Djokovic Foundation,’ which aims to support disadvantaged children.

Many fans will certainly not know this, Djokovic had contemplated retirement after losing in the quarter-final of the 2010 French Open.

Djokovic revealed to the world in an interview saying: “I cried after being knocked out, it was a bad moment, I wanted to quit tennis, all I saw was black, it was a transformation, because after that defeat I freed myself, from that moment I took the pressure off myself, I started playing more aggressively, that was the turning point.”

In 2016 on the back of winning his maiden title at Roland Garros, he became the only men’s singles player to win a ‘Career Grand Slam’ after Rod Laver.

He is one of the only players to have defeated the great Roger Federer three times in one year. He also beat Federer and Rafael Nadal in a Grand slam in consecutive matches, making him the second person to do so.

He married his high-school sweetheart Jelena Ristic in 2014. He is also the father of two children, Stefan (8) and Tara (5).

Djokovic is not just a master of the court but a master of languages. The Serbian can speak several languages – Serbian, Italian, English, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish – some more fluently than others.

Despite his incredible athleticism and health, Djokovic is gluten intolerant. Though that has never stopped him from becoming one of the greats. He covers a 14-day gluten-free diet in his book ‘Serve To Win,’ which also reveals his journey to becoming the player we know today.

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