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11 July 2012

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

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Novak Djokovic Новак Ђоковић

Djokovic during the 2010 Miami Masters
Country  Serbia and Montenegro
(2003–2006)
 Serbia (2006–present)
Residence Monte Carlo, Monaco
Born 22 May 1987 (age 25)
Belgrade, Serbia (then Yugoslavia)
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 80.0 kg (176 lb; 12.60 st)
Turned pro 2003
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Career prize money $38,120,025
Singles
Career record 435–118 (78.7%)
Career titles 30
Highest ranking No. 1 (4 July 2011)
Current ranking No. 2 (9 July 2012)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (2008, 2011, 2012)
French Open F (2012)
Wimbledon W (2011)
US Open W (2011)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals W (2008)
Olympic Games Bronze medal.svg Bronze Medal (2008)
Doubles
Career record 31–44 (41.33%)
Career titles 1
Highest ranking No. 114 (30 November 2009)
Current ranking No. 544 (9 July 2012)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open 1R (2006, 2007)
French Open 1R (2006)
Wimbledon 2R (2006)
US Open 1R (2006)
Last updated on: 11:18, 9 July 2012 (UTC).
Olympic medal record
Competitor for  Serbia
Men's Tennis
Bronze 2008 Beijing Singles
Novak Djokovic (Serbian: Новак Ђоковић or Novak Đoković; pronounced [nɔ̂ʋaːk dʑɔ̂ːkɔʋitɕ] ( listen); born 22 May 1987) is a Serbian professional tennis player and a former World No. 1. As of 9 July, 2012 he is ranked World No. 2. He has won five Grand Slam singles titles: the 2008, 2011 and 2012 Australian Open, the 2011 Wimbledon Championships, and the 2011 US Open. By winning three Majors in 2011, Djokovic became the sixth male player in the open era to win three Majors in a calendar year. He is the first male player representing Serbia to win a Major singles title and the youngest player in the open era to have reached the semifinals of all four Grand Slam events, separately and consecutively.[2] By reaching the 2012 French Open final, he became the ninth player in open era who reached the final of all four Grand Slam singles tournaments (and only fifth who did that consecutively). Amongst other titles, he won the Tennis Masters Cup in 2008 and was on the team which won the 2010 Davis Cup. He also won the bronze medal in singles at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. He has won 11 Masters 1000 series titles (breaking a single season record with five titles in 2011), placing him joint fourth on the list since the inception in 1990. Djokovic was also listed in 'Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World'.[3] Djokovic has been described by former Grand Slam champion, Pat Cash, as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.[4]

Early and personal life

Djokovic was born 22 May 1987, in Belgrade, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to father Srdan (Срђан) and mother Diana (Дијана). His two younger brothers, Marko and Đorđe (Ђорђе) are also tennis players with professional aspirations.[5] Residing in Monte Carlo, Monaco, Djokovic has been coached since 2006 by a former Slovak tennis player Marián Vajda.[6] Similar to fellow pro Roger Federer, Djokovic is a self-described fan of languages, speaking four himself: his native Serbian, English, German, and Italian.[7][8] Since the end of 2005, Djokovic has been dating Jelena Ristić (Јелена Ристић).[9]
He started playing tennis at the age of four. In the summer 1993, the six-year-old was spotted by Yugoslav tennis legend Jelena Genčić[10] at Serbian Mount Kopaonik where Djokovic's parents ran a fast-food parlour.[11] Upon seeing the dedicated and talented youngster in action, she stated: "This is the greatest talent I have seen since Monica Seles."[5] Genčić worked with young Djokovic over the following six years before realizing that, due to his rapid development, going abroad in search of increased level of competition was the best option for his future. To that end, she contacted Nikola Pilić, and in September 1999, the 12-year-old moved to the Pilić tennis academy in Oberschleißheim, Germany, spending four years there.[12] At age 14, he began his international career, winning European championships in singles, doubles, and team competition.[5]
Djokovic is known for his often humorous off-court impersonations of his fellow players, many of whom are his friends. This became evident to the tennis world after his 2007 US Open quarterfinal win over Carlos Moyà, where he entertained the audience with impersonations of Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova.[13] He also did an impression of John McEnroe after his fourth round match victory at the 2009 US Open, before playing a brief game with McEnroe, much to the delight of the audience. It is because of this jovial personality that he earned the nickname "Djoker", a portmanteau of his surname and the word joker. Novak Djokovic is a member of the "Champions for Peace" club, a group of famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization.[14]
Djokovic is a Serbian Orthodox Christian. On 28 April 2011, Patriarch Irinej of Serbia awarded Djokovic the Order of St. Sava I class, the highest decoration of the Serbian Orthodox Church, because he demonstrated love for the church, and because he provided assistance to the Serbian people, churches and monasteries of the Serbian Orthodox Church of Kosovo and Metohija.[15]
He is a keen fan of Serbian football club Red Star Belgrade,[16] Italian Serie A side A.C. Milan[17] and Portuguese club S.L. Benfica. Djokovic is good friends with fellow Serbian tennis player Ana Ivanović, whom he has known since the two were children growing up in Serbia.

Tennis career

Early career

As a member of the FR Yugoslavia national team, he reached the finals of the 2001 Junior Davis Cup for players under 14, in which he lost his match in singles.[18]
At the beginning of his professional career, Djokovic mainly played in Futures and Challenger tournaments, winning three of each type from 2003 to 2005. His first tour-level tournament was Umag in 2004, where he lost to Filippo Volandri in the round of 32. He made his first Grand Slam tournament appearance by qualifying for the 2005 Australian Open, where he was defeated by eventual champion Marat Safin in the first round.

2006

Djokovic briefly considered plans to move from Serbia to play for Britain.[19] He reached the top-40 world ranking due to a quarterfinal appearance at the French Open, and reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon.
Three weeks after Wimbledon, he won his maiden ATP title at the Dutch Open in Amersfoort without losing a set, defeating Nicolás Massú in the final. Djokovic won his second career title at the Open de Moselle in Metz, and moved into the top 20 for the first time in his career.

2007

Djokovic began the year by defeating Australian Chris Guccione in the final of the ATP Adelaide, before losing in the fourth round of the Australian Open to eventual champion Roger Federer in straight sets. His performances at the Masters Series events in Indian Wells, California, and Key Biscayne, Florida, where he was the runner-up and champion respectively, pushed him into the world's top 10. Djokovic lost the Indian Wells final to Rafael Nadal, but defeated Nadal in Key Biscayne in the quarterfinals before defeating Guillermo Cañas for the title in the finals.
Right after his first master series title, he went back home to contribute to his country's attempt to get into the World Group of the Davis Cup competition. Serbia faced off the Republic of Georgia, and Djokovic won a point by defeating Georgia's George Chanturia. This was a tournament where he prepared for the later clay court season. Djokovic played in the Masters Series Monte Carlo Open, where he was defeated by David Ferrer in the third round, and in the Estoril Open, where he defeated Richard Gasquet in the final. Djokovic then reached the quarterfinals of both the Internazionali d'Italia in Rome and the Masters Series Hamburg, but lost to Nadal and Carlos Moyà respectively. At the French Open, Djokovic reached his first Major semifinal, losing to eventual champion Nadal.
During Wimbledon, Djokovic won a five-hour quarterfinal against Marcos Baghdatis. In his semifinal match against Rafael Nadal, he was forced to retire with elbow problems in the 3rd set after winning the first and losing the 2nd set.
Djokovic at 2007 US Open
Djokovic went on to win the Masters Series Rogers Cup in Montreal. He defeated world no. 3 Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals, world no. 2 Rafael Nadal in the semifinals, and world no. 1 Federer in the final. This was the first time a player had defeated the top three ranked players in one tournament since Boris Becker in 1994.[20] Djokovic was also only the second player, after Tomáš Berdych, to have defeated both Federer and Nadal since they became the top two players in the world. After this tournament, Björn Borg stated that Djokovic "is definitely a contender to win a Grand Slam (tournament)."[21] However, the following week at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati, Ohio, Djokovic lost in the second round to Moyà in straight sets. Djokovic nevertheless reached the final of the US Open. Djokovic had five set points in the first set and two in the second set, but lost them all before losing the final to top-seeded Federer in straight sets. During the 2007 tournament, Djokovic emerged as a fan favorite with his on-court impressions of other players including Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, and Maria Sharapova.
Djokovic won his fifth title of the year at the BA-CA TennisTrophy in Vienna, defeating Stanislas Wawrinka in the final. His next tournament was the Mutua Madrileña Masters in Madrid, where he lost to David Nalbandian in the semifinals. Djokovic, assured of finishing the year as world no. 3, qualified for the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup, but did not advance beyond the round robin matches.
He received the Golden Badge award for the best athlete in Serbia, and the Olympic Committee of Serbia declared him the best athlete.[22]

2008

Djokovic started the year by playing the Hopman Cup with fellow Serbian world no. 3 Jelena Janković. While he won all his round-robin matches, the team lost 1–2 in the final to the second-seeded American team consisting of Serena Williams and Mardy Fish.
At the Australian Open, Djokovic reached his second consecutive Major final without dropping a set, including a victory over two-time defending champion Roger Federer in the semifinals. By reaching the semifinals, Djokovic became the youngest player to have reached the semifinals in all four Majors. In the final, Djokovic defeated unseeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets to earn Serbia's first Grand Slam singles title.[23] This marked the first time since the 2005 Australian Open that a Grand Slam singles title was not won by Federer or Nadal.
Djokovic's next tournament was the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, where he lost in the semifinals to Andy Roddick.
Djokovic at the 2008 Pacific Life Open
At the Masters Series Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, Djokovic won his ninth career singles title, defeating American Mardy Fish in the three-set final.
Djokovic won his tenth career singles title and fourth Master Series singles crown at the Internazionali d'Italia in Rome. The following week at the Hamburg Masters, Djokovic lost to Nadal in the semifinals. At the French Open, Djokovic was the third-seeded player behind Federer and Nadal. Djokovic lost to Nadal in the semifinals in straight sets.
On grass, Djokovic once again played Nadal, this time in the Artois Championships final in Queen's Club, London, losing in two sets. At Wimbledon, Djokovic was the third-seeded player; however, he lost in the second round to Marat Safin. This ended a streak of five consecutive Majors where he had reached at least the semifinals.
Winning the Masters Cup
Djokovic then failed to defend his 2007 singles title at the Masters Series Rogers Cup in Toronto. He was eliminated in the quarterfinals by eighth-seeded Andy Murray. The following week at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati, Ohio, Djokovic advanced to the final, beating Nadal. In the final, he again lost to Murray in straight sets.
His next tournament was the Beijing Olympics, his first Olympics. He and Nenad Zimonjić, seeded second in men's doubles, were eliminated in the first round by the Czech pairing of Martin Damm and Pavel Vízner. Seeded third in singles, Djokovic lost in the semifinals to Nadal. Djokovic then defeated James Blake, the loser of the other semifinal, in the bronze medal match.
After the Olympics, Djokovic entered the US Open as the third seed. He defeated Roddick in the quarterfinals. To a smattering of boos in a post-match interview, Djokovic criticized Roddick for accusing him of making excessive use of the trainer during matches. His run at the US Open ended in the semifinals when he lost to Federer in four sets, in a rematch of the 2007 US Open final.
Djokovic played four tournaments after the US Open. In a rematch of the 2008 Australian Open final, he lost in the final of the Thailand Open to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets. In November, Djokovic was the second seed at the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai. In his first round-robin match, he defeated Argentine Juan Martín del Potro in straight sets. He then beat Nikolay Davydenko in three sets, before losing his final round robin match against Tsonga. Djokovic qualified for the semifinals, where he defeated Gilles Simon. In the final, Djokovic defeated Davydenko again to win his first Tennis Masters Cup title.

2009

Djokovic in 2009
Djokovic started the year at the Brisbane International in Brisbane, Australia, where he was upset by Ernests Gulbis in the first round.[24] At the Medibank International in Sydney, he lost to Jarkko Nieminen in the semifinals.[25]
As defending champion at the Australian Open, Djokovic retired from his quarterfinal match with former world no. 1 Andy Roddick.[26]
After losing in the semifinals of the Open 13 tournament in Marseille to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Djokovic won the singles title at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, defeating David Ferrer to claim his twelfth career title. The following week, Djokovic was the defending champion at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event, but lost to Roddick in the quarterfinals. At the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, another ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event, Djokovic beat Federer in the semifinals, before losing to Andy Murray in the final.
Djokovic during the 2009 US Open
Djokovic reached the final of the next ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event, the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on clay, losing to Rafael Nadal in the final. At the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, another ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event, Djokovic was the defending champion, but again lost in the final.
Djokovic was the top seed at his hometown tournament, the Serbia Open in Belgrade. He defeated first-time finalist Łukasz Kubot to win his second title of the year.[27] As third seed at the Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open, Djokovic advanced to the semifinals without dropping a set. There, he faced Nadal and lost despite holding three match points. The match, at 4 hours and 3 minutes, was the longest three-set singles match on the ATP World Tour in the Open Era.[28] At the French Open, he lost in the third round to German Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Djokovic began his grass court season at the Gerry Weber Open where, after the withdrawal of Federer, he competed as the top seed. He advanced to the final, where he lost to German Tommy Haas.[29] Djokovic also lost to Haas in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon.[30]
During the US Open Series, Djokovic made the quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup in Montreal, before losing to Andy Roddick. At the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati, Djokovic defeated world no. 3 Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. He lost in the final to world no. 1 Roger Federer.[31] At the 2009 US Open, Djokovic made the semifinals, having dropped only two sets, defeating Ivan Ljubičić, 15th seed Radek Štěpánek and 10th seed Fernando Verdasco. He then lost to Roger Federer.[32]
At the China Open in Beijing, he defeated Victor Hănescu, Viktor Troicki, Fernando Verdasco, and Robin Söderling en route to the final, where he defeated Marin Čilić in straight sets to win his third title of the year.[33] At the inaugural Shanghai ATP Masters 1000, Djokovic lost in the semifinals to Nikolay Davydenko.
At the Davidoff Swiss Indoors in Basel, Djokovic defeated Jan Hernych to make it to the quarterfinals.[34] He then recovered from a deficit to defeat Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarterfinals. He won the semifinals against Radek Štěpánek. In the final, he defeated home favourite and three-time defending champion Roger Federer to win his fourth title of the year.[35]
At the last Masters 1000 event of the year at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, Djokovic won his first Masters 1000 title of the year. He defeated Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.[36] In the final, Djokovic prevailed over Gaël Monfils.[37]
Coming into the year-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London as the defending champion, Djokovic defeated Nikolay Davydenko in his first round-robin match.[38] In his second match, he lost to Robin Söderling.[39] Despite victory over Rafael Nadal in his third round-robin match, Djokovic failed to make the semifinals.[40]
Djokovic ended the year as the world no. 3 for the third consecutive year. Djokovic played 97 matches throughout the year, the most of any player on the ATP World Tour, with a 78–19 win-loss record. In addition to leading the ATP World Tour in match wins, he reached a career best 10 finals, winning 5 titles.

2010

Djokovic started his year by playing in the Kooyong Classic, an exhibition event. In his first match, he defeated Tommy Haas, but lost to Fernando Verdasco in his second.[41]
At the Australian Open, Djokovic was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in five sets.[42] Despite the loss, Djokovic attained a career-high ranking of world no. 2.
Djokovic at the 2010 Rogers Cup
He reached the semifinals of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, losing to Mikhail Youzhny. At the Dubai Tennis Championships in the U.A.E., Djokovic reached the final, defeating Mikhail Youzhny to win his first title of the year.[43]
He then took part in Serbia's Davis Cup tie against the USA on clay in Belgrade. He helped Serbia reach their first quarterfinal in the Davis Cup 3–2 victory, defeating Sam Querrey and John Isner.
At the Indian Wells Masters, he lost in the fourth round to Ivan Ljubičić. At the Miami Masters, he lost in his opening match to Olivier Rochus. Djokovic then announced that he had ceased working with Todd Martin as his coach.[44]
In his first clay-court tournament of the year at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, top-seeded Djokovic reached the semifinals with wins over Stanislas Wawrinka and David Nalbandian. There, he lost to Fernando Verdasco. Djokovic again lost to Verdasco at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, this time in the quarterfinals.[45]
As the defending champion at his hometown event, the Serbia Open in Belgrade, he withdrew in the quarterfinals while trailing Filip Krajinović.[46]
Djokovic entered the 2010 French Open seeded third. He defeated Evgeny Korolev, Kei Nishikori, Victor Hănescu, and Robby Ginepri en route to the quarterfinals, where he lost to Jürgen Melzer in five sets.[47]
Djokovic entered the 2010 Wimbledon Championships as third seed, defeating Olivier Rochus, Taylor Dent, Albert Montañés, Lleyton Hewitt, and Yen-Hsun Lu en route to the semifinals, which he lost to Tomáš Berdych in straight sets.
Djokovic then competed at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, where he lost to Roger Federer in the semifinals. Djokovic also competed in doubles with Rafael Nadal in a one-time, high-profile partnership. That hadn't happened since 1976, when Jimmy Connors and Arthur Ashe as world no.1 and no.2 paired together as a doubles team.[48] They lost in the first round to Canadians Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil. Djokovic lost in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati to Andy Roddick.
Djokovic at the 2010 US Open
As the third seed at the US Open, Djokovic came very close to losing in his opening round against Viktor Troicki in extreme heat. He then defeated Philipp Petzschner, James Blake and Mardy Fish, and number 17 seed Gaël Monfils, all in straight sets to reach the US Open semifinals for the fourth consecutive year. In the semifinals, Djokovic defeated Roger Federer in five sets after saving 2 match points with forehand winners while serving to stay in the match at 4–5 in the 5th set. It was Djokovic's first victory over Federer at the US Open in four attempts, and his first victory over Federer in a Major since the 2008 Australian Open. Djokovic lost to Nadal in the final, a match that saw Nadal complete his career Grand Slam.
After helping Serbia defeat the Czech Republic 3–2 to make it to the Davis Cup final, Djokovic competed at the China Open as the top seed and defending champion. He won the title for the second successive year, after defeating Maoxin Gong, Mardy Fish (walkover), Gilles Simon, and John Isner en route to the final. Djokovic then defeated David Ferrer in the final.
At the Shanghai Masters, Djokovic made a semifinal appearance, losing to Roger Federer.
Djokovic played his final tournament of the year at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London. Djokovic was placed in Group A along with Rafael Nadal, Tomáš Berdych, and Andy Roddick. Djokovic won his first round-robin match against Berdych. He next lost to Nadal. He defeated Roddick in his final round-robin match and advanced to the semifinals. He lost to Roger Federer in two sets.
Djokovic went on to win his two singles rubbers in Serbia's Davis Cup finals victory over France. This started a long unbeaten run that went on into 2011. Djokovic finished the year ranked world no. 3, his fourth successive finish at this position.
He was awarded the title "Serbian Sportsman of the year" by the Olympic Committee of Serbia[49] and "Serbian Athlete of the year" by DSL Sport.[50]

2011

Djokovic celebrates winning the 2011 Australian Open
Djokovic won ten tournaments in 2011,[11] including Grand Slam tournament victories at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.[11] Djokovic also captured a record-breaking five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles,[11][51] and set a new record for the most prize money won in a single season on the ATP World Tour (12.0 million dollars).[11] His level dropped at season's end beginning with a back injury and ended with a poor showing at the ATP World Tour Finals. Djokovic finished the season with a 70–6 record and No. 1 in the world. Pete Sampras declared Djokovic's season as the best he has ever seen in his lifetime, calling it "one of the best achievements in all of sports."[52] Boris Becker called Djokovic's season "one of the very best years in tennis of all time," adding that it "may not be the best statistically, but he’s beaten Federer, he’s beaten Nadal, he’s beaten everybody that came around to challenge him in the biggest tournaments in the world."[53] Rafael Nadal, who lost to Djokovic in six finals on three different surfaces, described Djokovic's performances as "probably the highest level of tennis that I ever saw."[54] Djokovic was named 2011 ITF World Champion.[55]

2012

Djokovic began his season winning at the 2012 Australian Open. He won his first four rounds against Paolo Lorenzi,[56] Santiago Giraldo, Nicolas Mahut and Lleyton Hewitt respectively. In the quarter-finals he defeated David Ferrer in three sets. In the semifinal, Djokovic beat Andy Murray in five sets (7–5 in the fifth set) after 4 hours and 50 minutes, coming back from a two-sets-to-one deficit and fending off break points at 5-all in the fifth set.[57] In the final, Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal in five sets, coming from a break down in the final set to win 7–5. At 5 hours and 53 minutes, the match was the longest final in Open Era Grand Slam history, as well as the longest match in Australian Open history, surpassing the 5 hour and 14 minute 2009 semifinal between Nadal and Fernando Verdasco.[58]
Djokovic was beaten by John Isner in the semifinals at Indian Wells. He successfully defended his title in Miami.
In the Monte Carlo final, he lost in straight sets to Nadal, unable to prevent Nadal from earning his record-breaking eighth consecutive title there.
Djokovic also lost in straight sets to Nadal at the Rome Masters 2012 final.[59]
Djokovic reached his maiden French Open final in 2012 by defeating Roger Federer[60], reaching the finals of all four Grand Slams consecutively, but was beaten by Rafael Nadal in the final in four sets.[61]

Davis Cup

In 2006, Djokovic got the decisive win on 9 April, against Great Britain by defeating Greg Rusedski in four sets in the fourth match, giving his team an unsurmountable 3–1 lead in their best-of-five series, thus keeping Serbia and Montenegro in the Group One Euro/African Zone of Davis Cup. Following this match-up, a lot of media buzz appeared about Djokovic's camp negotiating with the Lawn Tennis Association about changing his international loyalty by joining British tennis ranks.[19] Nineteen-year-old Djokovic, who was no.63 on the ATP list at the time, mostly dismissed the story at first by saying that the talks were not serious, describing them as "the British being very kind to us after the Davis Cup".[62] However, more than three years later, in October 2009, Djokovic confirmed that the talks between his family and the LTA throughout April and May 2006, were indeed serious:
Britain was offering me a lot of opportunities and they needed someone because Andy [Murray] was the only one, and still is. That had to be a disappointment for all the money they invest. But I didn't need the money as much as I had done. I had begun to make some for myself, enough to afford to travel with a coach, and I said, 'Why the heck?' I am Serbian, I am proud of being a Serbian, I didn't want to spoil that just because another country had better conditions. If I had played for Great Britain, of course I would have played exactly as I do for my country but deep inside, I would never have felt that I belonged. I was the one who took the decision.[63]
By winning all three of his matches, Djokovic played a key role in the 2007 play-off win over Australia, promoting the Serbia Davis Cup team to World Group in 2008. In Serbia's tie against Russia in early 2008, in Moscow, Djokovic was sidelined due to influenza and was forced to miss his first singles match. He returned to win his doubles match, teaming with Nenad Zimonjić, before being forced to retire during his singles match with Nikolay Davydenko. Djokovic also had a big role in promoting Serbia to the 2009 World Group. On 6–8 March 2010, he played the key role in bringing Serbia to World Group quarterfinals for the first time in its independent history, winning both singles matches in the home tie against United States (against Sam Querrey and John Isner). Later, Serbia progressed to the Davis Cup final, following the victories over Croatia (4–1) and Czech Republic (3–2). Serbia came from 1–2 down to defeat France in the final tie 3–2 in Belgrade to win the nation's first Davis Cup Championship. In the final, Djokovic scored two singles points for Serbia, defeating Gilles Simon and Gaël Monfils.[64] He was the backbone of the Serbian squad, going 7–0 in singles rubbers to lead the nation to the title, although the honour of winning the deciding rubber in the final went to compatriot Viktor Troicki.
In the semi finals of the 2011 Davis Cup Djokovic played a crucial rubber match for Serbia against Juan Martin Del Potro playing for Argentina, which he lost 6–7, 0–3 having to retire after reaggravating a back injury sustained during the US Open tournament, which secured Argentina's place in the final defeating Serbia 3–2. This marked Djokovic's third loss of his 2011 season, and his second retirement.[65]

Rivalries

Djokovic vs. Nadal

Djokovic and Nadal have met 33 times (the sixth-most head-to-head meetings in the Open Era)[66] with Nadal having a 19–14 advantage.[67] Nadal leads on grass 2–1 and clay 12–2, but Djokovic leads on hard courts 11–5.[67] This rivalry is listed as the third greatest rivalry in the last decade by ATPworldtour.com[68] and is considered by many to be the emerging rivalry.[69][70] Djokovic is the first player to have at least ten match wins against Nadal and the only person to defeat Nadal seven times consecutively.[71] The two share the record for the longest Australian Open and Grand Slam final match ever played (5 hours and 53 minutes), which was the 2012 Australian Open final,[72] as well as the record for the longest match played in a best-of-three sets (4 hours and 3 minutes) which was the 2009 Mutua Madrid Open semifinal.[73] In the 2011 Wimbledon final, Djokovic won in four sets, which was his first victory over Nadal in a Major.[74] By doing so, he became the only person other than Federer to defeat Nadal in a Grand Slam tournament final. Djokovic also defeated Nadal in the 2011 US Open Final to capture his third major title of the year and fourth overall. By beating Nadal, Djokovic became the second player to defeat Nadal in more than one Grand Slam final (the other being Federer), and the only player to beat Nadal in a Slam final on a surface other than grass. In 2012, Djokovic defeated Nadal in the Australian Open final which made Nadal the first player to lose in three consecutive Grand Slam finals.
At the 2012 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in April, Nadal finally beat Djokovic for the first time since November 2010. They had met in seven finals from January 2011 to January 2012, all of which Djokovic won. In the final at Monte Carlo, an in-form Nadal defeated Djokovic, 6–3, 6–1. Nadal again defeated Djokovic 7–5, 6–3 in the final of the Rome Masters tournament.
At the 2012 French Open, Djokovic faced Nadal in the final. For the second time in tennis history, two opposing tennis players played four consecutive Grand Slams Finals against each other. They also became the only players in history, except for Venus and Serena Williams, to have faced the same opponent in the finals of each of the four different Grand Slam events. Nadal eventually won 6–4, 6–3, 2–6, 7–5 after multiple rain delays that forced the final to be concluded on the following Monday afternoon.

Djokovic vs. Federer

Djokovic and Federer have met 27 times, with Federer leading 15–12. Djokovic, however, has won 6 of his last 8 encounters with Federer, and 4 out of their last 6 meetings in grand slams. Federer leads 11–9 on hard court, they have split 6 matches on clay, and Federer won their only match on grass. Djokovic is the only player other than Nadal who has defeated Federer in consecutive Grand Slam tournament matches.[2] Federer ended Djokovic's 41-match winning start to the 2011 season at the 2011 French Open semi-finals which many consider to be a classic match.[75] However, he lost to Djokovic in the following year in straight sets. [76] Djokovic played Federer in his first Major final at the 2007 US Open and lost in three sets.[77] Djokovic has the second-most wins against Federer (after Nadal). The two have met three times in Australian Open (in 2007, 2008, and 2011) which Federer won in straight sets in 2007 and Djokovic won in straight sets in the other 2. The two have met five years in a row at the US Open with Federer triumphant in their first three encounters while their last two meetings (in 2010 and 2011) were five-set matches in which Djokovic saved two match points before going on to win. On 6th July 2012, Djokovic lost to Federer in the Wimbledon semifinal.[78]

Djokovic vs. Murray

Djokovic and Murray have met 13 times with Djokovic leading 8–5. Djokovic leads 2–0 on clay, and 6–5 on hard courts. The two went to training camp together, and Murray won the first match they ever played as teenagers. The pair have met 5 times in finals, with Murray leading 3–2, however, their most important final was the 2011 Australian Open final, in which Djokovic won in straight sets.[79] The other four finals were all ATP Masters 1000 finals, with Murray winning the first three in straight sets. But Djokovic defeated Murray in the most recent final in straight sets. They also played a nearly five-hour long semifinal match in the 2012 Australian Open, which Djokovic won 7–5 in the fifth set after Murray led 2 sets to 1.

Place among the all-time greats

Tennis Channel ranked him number 25 among men, and number 40 among both men and women, in its 100 Greatest of All Time series.[80] Rod Laver chose Djokovic as number 6 in his top-ten male players of the Open Era.[81]

Playing style and equipment

Djokovic is an all-court player with emphasis on aggressive baseline play.[82] His groundstrokes from both wings are consistent, deep, and penetrating. His backhand is widely regarded as the best in today's game. His best weapon is his backhand down the line, with great pace and precision. He is also known as one of the greatest movers on the court with superior agility, court coverage and defensive ability. After great technical difficulties during the 2009 season, his serve is one of his major weapons again, winning him many free points; his first serve is typically hit flat, while he prefers to slice and kick his second serves wide.[82] Occasionally, Djokovic employs a well-disguised backhand underspin drop shot and sliced backhand. His drop shots still tend to be a drawback when hit under pressure and without proper preparation.[83]
Djokovic commented on the modern style of play, including his own, in interview with Jim Courier after his semifinal win against Andy Murray in the 2012 Australian Open tournament:[84]
I had a big privilege and honour to meet personally today Mr. Laver, and he is one of the biggest, and greatest players ever to play the game, thank you for staying this late, sir, thank you ... even though it would actually be better if we played a couple times serve and volley, but we don’t know to play ... we are mostly around here [points to the area near the baseline], we are running, you know, around the baseline ...
Entering the pro circuit, Djokovic used Wilson rackets, continuing so until the end of 2008. At that time, he switched to Head rackets, using a custom paint job of the Head YouTek Speed Pro racquet. Starting with 2011 Australian Open, he began using Head's YouTek IG Speed MP 18/20. Djokovic uses a hybrid of Head Natural Gut (guage 16) in the mains and Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power Rough (guage 16L) in the crosses. He also uses Head Synthetic Leather Grip as a replacement grip.[citation needed]
After his 2011 victory in Montreal, tennis coach Nick Bollettieri stated that Djokovic is the most "complete" player of all time.[85] He has the backhand, forehand, serve, second serve, movement, mentality, and can play equally well on any surface. In assessing his 2011 season, Jimmy Connors said that Djokovic gives his opponents problems by playing "a little bit old-school, taking the ball earlier, catching the ball on the rise, (and) driving the ball flat." Connors adds that a lot of the topspin that Djokovic's opponents drive at him comes right into his zone, thus his ability to turn defense into offense well.[86]

Coaching and personal team

From fall 2005 until June 2006, Djokovic was coached by Riccardo Piatti who divided his time between the 18-year-old and Ivan Ljubičić. Player and coach reportedly parted ways over the latter's refusal to work full time with Djokovic.[87]
Since June 2006, Djokovic has been coached by Slovakian former professional tennis player Marián Vajda. They met for the first time during that year's French Open, after which Vajda got hired to be the 19-year-old's coach. On occasion Djokovic employed additional coaches on part-time basis: in 2007, during the spring hardcourt season, he worked with Australian doubles ace Mark Woodforde with specific emphasis on volleys and net play while from August 2009 until April 2010 American Todd Martin joined the coaching team, a period marked by his ill-fated attempt to change Djokovic's serve motion.[88]
Since early 2007, Djokovic has been working with physiotherapist Miljan Amanović who was previously employed by Red Star Belgrade basketball team and NBA player Vladimir Radmanović.[89] In parallel he had an Israeli fitness coach Ronen Bega, but the two parted ways sometime in 2009.[90] In April 2009, Djokovic hired Austrian Gebhard Phil-Gritsch (formerly worked with Thomas Muster) to join the team in fitness coach capacity.[91][92]
In July 2010, before the Davis Cup clash away at Croatia, Djokovic made another addition to his team – nutritionist Igor Četojević who additionally focuses on Chinese medicine and does acupuncture.[93] He discovered the tennis player suffers from gluten intolerance and cannot eat gluten, purging it from his diet. It appeared to have worked as Djokovic began feeling stronger, quicker, and much more fit. After Djokovic's Wimbledon win in July 2011, Četojević left the team.[94]
After retiring from professional tennis in August 2011, Serbian player Dušan Vemić joined Djokovic's team as a hitting partner for Novak.

Sponsorships and business ventures

Djokovic endorses Serbian telecommunications company Telekom Srbija and German nutritional supplement brand FitLine.[95]
Since turning professional in 2003, Djokovic wore Adidas clothing and footwear. At the end of 2009, Djokovic signed a 10-year deal with the Italian clothing company Sergio Tacchini after Adidas refused to extend his clothing contract (choosing instead to sign Andy Murray).[96] Since Sergio Tacchini doesn't make shoes, he continued with Adidas as his choice of footwear. Djokovic's sponsorship contract with Tacchini was incentive heavy, and due to Djokovic's disproportionate success and dominance in 2011, the company fell behind on payments and ended the sponsorship contract.[1] From 2011, Djokovic began to wear custom Red and Blue Adidas Barricade 6.0's shoes, referring to the colours of the Serbian national flag. On May 23, 2012, Uniqlo has appointed Djokovic as its global brand ambassador. The five-year partnership, will see Djokovic promoting the Uniqlo brand where Djokovic debut his newly designed Uniqlo match wear to spectators in Paris' Roland-Garros French Open Tennis Tournament and to a worldwide TV audience on May 27.
Djokovic did television commercial spots and print ads for supermarket chain Idea, the Serbian arm of Croatian supermarket retailer Konzum as well as for rival Serbian supermarket chain DIS Trgovina.
In August 2011, Djokovic became the brand ambassador of Swiss watch manufacturer Audemars Piguet.[97] Less than a month later, Djokovic signed a sponsorship deal with German car company Mercedes-Benz.[98] In March 2012, Djokovic was announced by Bombardier Aerospace as its latest Learjet brand ambassador, thus joining the likes of actor and pilot John Travolta, architect Frank Gehry, maestro Valery Gergiev, and classical pianist Lang Lang.[99]
Since 2004, the business end of Djokovic's career has been handled by Israeli managers Amit Naor (former pro tennis player turned sports agent) and Allon Khakshouri, the duo that also had Marat Safin and Dinara Safina as their clients. In June 2008, after the duo entered into partnership with CAA Sports, the sports division of Hollywood talent firm Creative Artists Agency, meaning that the famous company started representing tennis players for the first time,[100] Djokovic formally signed with CAA Sports.[101]

Investments

In 2005, as Djokovic moved up the tennis rankings, his family founded a legal entity in Serbia named Family Sport. Registered as a limited liability company, its initial focus was the restaurant business. The company's day-to-day operations are mostly handled by Novak's father Srdjan and uncle Goran expanded its activities into real estate, sports/entertainment event organization, and sports apparel distribution.[citation needed]
The company opened theme cafés named Novak Café, as well as Novak Café & Restaurant in the Belgrade's municipality of Novi Beograd.
In February 2008, the company reached an agreement with local authorities in the city of Kragujevac about jointly entering into a real estate development deal that was to include 4 hectares of city-owned land at Veliki Park being developed into a tennis center with 14 courts. But by 2010 the company pulled out of these plans.[102][103]
In March 2008, Family Sport won a municipal authority-organized tender in Novi Beograd by submitting an €11 million bid for the 3.8 hectares of land located in Ivan Ribar neighbourhood;[104] with the ambitious plan to build a big tennis center there.[105][106][107] As of fall 2011, construction is yet to commence.
In 2009, the company managed to buy an ATP tournament known as the Dutch Open and bring it to Serbia where it became – Serbia Open. With the help of Belgrade city authorities, the tournament's inaugural edition was held during May 2009 at the city-owned 'Milan Gale Muškatirović' courts, located at an attractive spot in Dorćol neighbourhood.[108]
On Monday, 4 July 2011, one day after Djokovic won Wimbledon, Family Sport organized the homecoming reception in front of the National Assembly building with more than 80,000 people gathering to greet him.[109][110]

Career statistics

From the 2010 Davis Cup finals to the 2011 French Open, Djokovic had a 43-match win streak, placing him behind Guillermo Vilas (46 matches in 1977) and Ivan Lendl (44 matches in 1981/1982).[111][112]
He won 41 straight matches from the start of 2011 until the French Open semi-finals,[112] second only to John McEnroe's record (he started 42–0 in 1984[113]).
Novak Djokovic is one of only four players (besides David Nalbandian, Andy Murray, and Rafael Nadal) to beat Roger Federer three times in one calendar year, and one of only two players (Juan Martin Del Potro being the other) to beat both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in a Grand Slam in consecutive matches. He is the only player who can claim to have beaten both Federer and Nadal in the same tournament on 4 different occasions (Montreal 2007, Indian Wells 2011, US Open 2011,). He is also the youngest player in the Open Era to defeat the top three players in succession and he achieved this when he defeated world number three Andy Roddick, world number two Nadal, and World number one Federer in the 2007 Rogers Cup. He is one of only two players to have defeated Federer at the semifinal stage or later on more than one occasion in Grand Slam tournaments, and also at consecutive tournaments (the other being Nadal).He is also the only player to beat Federer in straight sets in a Grand Slam on more than one occasion.
His five Masters titles in 2011 are a season record.[114]

Grand Slam tournament performance timeline

To prevent confusion and double counting, information in this table is updated only once a tournament or the player's participation in the tournament has concluded. This table is current through the 2012 Wimbledon Championships.
Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 SR W–L Win %
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open A A 1R 1R 4R W QF QF W W 3 / 8 32–5 86.49
French Open A A 2R QF SF SF 3R QF SF F 0 / 8 31–8 79.49
Wimbledon A A 3R 4R SF 2R QF SF W SF 1 / 8 32–7 82.05
US Open A A 3R 3R F SF SF F W
1 / 7 33–6 84.62
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 5–4 9–4 19–4 18–3 15–4 19–4 25–1 18–2 5 / 31 128–26 83.12
Finals: 8 (5 titles, 3 runners-up)
Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 2007 US Open (1) Hard Switzerland Roger Federer 6–7(4–7), 6–7(2–7), 4–6
Winner 2008 Australian Open (1) Hard France Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4–6, 6–4, 6–3, 7–6(7–2)
Runner-up 2010 US Open (2) Hard Spain Rafael Nadal 4–6, 7–5, 4–6, 2–6
Winner 2011 Australian Open (2) Hard United Kingdom Andy Murray 6–4, 6–2, 6–3
Winner 2011 Wimbledon (1) Grass Spain Rafael Nadal 6–4, 6–1, 1–6, 6–3
Winner 2011 US Open (1) Hard Spain Rafael Nadal 6–2, 6–4, 6–7(3–7), 6–1
Winner 2012 Australian Open (3) Hard Spain Rafael Nadal 5–7, 6–4, 6–2, 6–7(5–7), 7–5
Runner-up 2012 French Open (1) Clay Spain Rafael Nadal 4–6, 3–6, 6–2, 5–7

Records

  • These records were attained in the Open Era of tennis and in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 series since 1990.
  • Records in bold indicate peer-less achievements.
  • Records in italics are currently active streaks.

Awards and honours

List of awards

Orders and special awards

Order of Saint Sava
On 28 April 2011, in Belgrade, Patriarch Irinej of Serbia awarded Djokovic the Order of St. Sava I class, the highest decoration of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The order was given to him because he demonstrated love for the church, and because he provided assistance to the Serbian people, churches and monasteries of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Metohija.[15]

In popular culture

In 2009, and 2010, Djokovic won an Oscar Of Popularity for the most popular male athlete in Serbia.[124]
Djokovic is also featured in the music video for the song "Hello" by Martin Solveig and Dragonette. The video, filmed at Stade Roland Garros, shows Solveig facing off against Bob Sinclar, another DJ, in a tennis match. When the referee calls a crucial ball "Out", Djokovic enters the arena and convinces the referee otherwise.[125]
In 2010, the Serbian blues-rock band Zona B recorded the song "The Joker", dedicating it to Djokovic.[126][127]
On 25 June 2011, its seventieth Congress in Chicago, all the members unanimously awarded Djokovic the Order of Serbian National Defense in America I class, the highest decoration of the SND. The order was given to him because of his merits in the international sport scene and his contributions to the reputation of Serbs and Serbia around the world.[128]
Owing to his extroverted personality, fluency in several languages, and willingness to go along with comedic concepts, Djokovic became a fixture on entertainment-based TV talk shows around the globe immediately upon achieving a measure of prominence via results on the tennis court. After winning the Australian Open, his first major, in early 2008, Djokovic appeared on American late-night programme The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. In May 2008, he was a special guest during the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest, held in Belgrade that year. He threw a big tennis ball into the crowd, announcing the start of the voting and together with one of the show's co-presenters Željko Joksimović, Djokovic sang a song about Belgrade.[129] Throughout spring 2009, during ATP Master Series tournaments in Madrid and Rome, respectively, the Serb was a guest on Pablo Motos' show El Hormiguero[130] followed by an appearance on the Fiorello Show hosted by Italian comedian Rosario Fiorello.[131]
Djokovic's television appearances particularly intensified during his amazing run of form throughout 2011: after winning Wimbledon and reaching number one spot on the ATP list, he again appeared on Leno's Tonight Show as well as on Conan O'Brien's show on TBS. Djokovic's dramatic win at the US Open was followed by another television blitz including spots on Live with Regis and Kelly, CBS' The Early Show, NBC's Today as well as a walk-on appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. In mid-November 2011, he made a triumphant return to Rai 1's Fiorello Show. In late November during the ATP World Tour Finals in London he was a guest on Sir David Frost's interview programme Frost Over the World on Al Jazeera English.
He was voted the 19th most influential man on AskMen.com's Top 49 Most Influential Men of 2011. On invitation from film producer Avi Lerner, Djokovic became part of the high-budget Hollywood movie production The Expendables 2 in a cameo playing himself,[132] which he shot on 29 November 2011 in a warehouse in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.[133] He appeared on the cover of Italian GQ's March 2012 issue.[134] Also in March he got profiled on the CBS show 60 Minutes by their correspondent Bob Simon. Djokovic made TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2012 list.
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