Novak Djokovic biography
Novak Djokovic was born on May 22, 1987, in Belgrade, Serbia. He began playing tennis at the age of four. At 13 he was sent to the Pilic Academy in Munich, Germany, and began his international career in 2001. At 16, after winning five ITF tournaments, Djokovic became the 40th best junior tennis player. In 2010, Djokovic led the Serbian national team to its first Davis Cup win. He went on to win 43 consecutive matches in 2011—the only player in the world to achieve such a run. Among his 2011 victories, he won at Wimbledon, and became the world's No. 1 tennis player. In 2012, Djokovic won at the Australian Open, and made it to the Wimbledon semifinals, but was beaten by Roger Federer.
Novak Djokovic was born on May 22, 1987 in Belgrade, Serbia. Father Srdjan and mother Dijana owned the company Family Sports, which had three restaurants and a tennis academy. Djokovic's father, uncle and aunt were all professional skiers, and his father also excelled at soccer, but Djokovic was a tennis prodigy.
In the summer of 1993, at 6 years old, Djokovic was spotted by Yugoslavian tennis legend Jelena Gencic at his parents' sports complex. Gencic then worked with Djokovic for the next six years. During this time, the war in former Yugoslavia and the bombing of Belgrade meant that, for almost three months, Djokovic and his family would spend a few hours in the middle of each night in the basement. Djokovic has said that the hardships of war drove him to pursue tennis with even greater determination. At 13, he was sent to the Pilic Academy in Munich, Germany, to pursue higher levels of competition. In 2001, at age 14, he began his international career.
The 14-year-old Djokovic ended 2001 as a triple European champion in singles, doubles and team competition. He won the silver medal at the World Junior Championship in a team competition for Yugoslavia. At 16, after winning five ITF tournaments, he was ranked the 40th best junior tennis player in the world. In 2004, he won his first ATP Challenger tournament in Budapest, where he started as a qualifier. The following year, he qualified at Wimbledon and reached the third round, moving him up the rankings and into the Top 100.
In the 2007 season, Djokovic played the semifinals of the French Open and Wimbledon. He won his second masters title in Montreal, beating the Top 3 players—Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick—which made him No. 3 in the world. He competed for Serbia in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and won a bronze medal in singles tennis. In 2010, the Serbian national team clinched the Davis Cup trophy for Serbia for the first time in history. Djokovic went on to win 43 matches in a row in 2011, the only player in the world to achieve such a run. That same year, he won Wimbledon and became the world's No. 1 tennis player.
In 2012, Djokovic won the Australian Open singles title, and made it to the semifinals at Wimbledon. He was beaten in the semifinals, however, by longtime rival Roger Federer—who went on to win the Wimbledon final against Andy Murray.
Later that year, Djokovic faced off against Murray himself in the finals at the U.S. Open. He fought hard against Murray, but he ended up losing the match after five sets.
For the third year in a row, Djokovic took home the men's singles title at the Australian Open in 2013. He was the runner up at Wimbledon that year, losing in the finals to Andy Murray. At the U.S. Open, Djokovic was the top ranked player. He easily dispatched his opponents in the first three rounds of play, but he lost in the finals to Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic speaks Serbian, Italian, German and English. His two younger brothers, Marko (born in 1991) and Djordje (born in 1995), are both in school and play tennis. Djokovic's lighthearted personality has earned him the nickname "Djoker," a combination of his surname and the word "joker." He is known for his humorous off-court impersonations of fellow tennis players.
Djokovic is a member of the Serbian Orthodox Christian church, and in April 2011, he was awarded the Order of St. Sava, 1st class, the highest decoration given, "for his demonstrated love for the church and the Serbian people." He participates in the Champions for Peace club, created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization.
Djokovic has been dating Jelena Ristic since 2005. He currently lives in Monte Carlo, Monaco.