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Biography of Novak Djokovic: world no.1 tennis player's journey to 2012 London Olympics
Novak Djokovic,the no.1 tennis player, has himself prioritized 2012 London Olympics along with Wimbledon, French Open, US Open, Australian Open and other ATP events. Novak Djokovic will be entering London Summer Olympics 2012 as a favourite player to win Olympic gold in tennis mens single event. This article delves into childhood, professional achievements and personal life including Novak's girlfriend and other interesting facts about Djokovic or as he is fondly called, the Djoker.
Current world ranking at ATP and position of Djokovic in World Tennis:
Novak Djokovic is one name you probably heard being associated with every major Tennis tournament in the world since last couple of years. Novak Djokovic has won 3 out of 4 Grand slams including Wimbledon, Australian and French Open in the year 2011. On the strength of his consistent performances in the recent past, Novak Djokovic is currently a proud World No.1 tennis player on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) list. As far as Djokovic's performance in Olympics is considered, Novak Djokovic won the bronze medal in the singles event of 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Novak Djokovic has himself confessed that he would like to lay his hands on gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics 2012, for which Djokovic is a strong contender.
Background and childhood of Novak Djokovic:
It is said that some people are born to achieve greatness in their chosen fields. Sachin Tendulkar is born to bat, Usain bolt is born to sprint, Yelena Isinbayeva is born to play pole vault, similarly Novak Djokovic seems to have born to play tennis. Born on 22 May 1987, Novak Djokovic first held a tennis racquet at a tender age of 4 years when most kids this age are learning to hold a pencil. Novak Djokovic was born in the city of Skopje in the politically significant Balkan nation of Albania. Novak Djokovic comes from a humble background with his parents owning a fast-food parlour near Mount Kopaonic a beautiful ski-resort of Serbia. An anecdote goes that, at this food parlour, Jelena Gencic, a former Yugoslav great tennis player, identified Novak Djokovic's tennis talent at the age of 6 years. She even drew comparisons between young Novak and Tennis legend Monica Seles. Novak Djokovic started his formal tennis training with Gencic and later moved to Pilic tennis academy in Germany after 6 years in order to meet his growing aspirations in tennis. Novak Djokovis's first significant tournament was 2001 Junior Davis Cup where he reached the finals of under 14 singles event. These were young Novak's small steps in the direction of big glory that awaited him.
Novak Djokovic's professional Tennis career :
The significant stages of Novak Djokovic's successful career as a professional tennis player are:
An emphatic beginning: In open era of tennis, ATP rankings are the statistics which define a player. ATP Challenge tours and ITF Men's circuit Futures cup are important tournaments to advance in ATP rankings. Novak Djokovic won both Challengers and Futures thrice in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Failure is the first step towards success. Novak Djokovic climbed this step of failure when he was outsed from his first higher class tournament, Umag in year 2004 in round 32 itself. Novak Djokovic first appearance in Grand Slams was equally disappointing as he faced defeat in his first round itself. Novak never lost hopes and continued improving and soon had quarterfinal appearance at French open and 4th round at Wimbledon experience to his credit. This also reflected in ATP rankings and Novak Djokovic featured in top 40 ranking for the first time. Novak's performances soon gathered steam and he broke into top 20 ATP rankings owing to his successive ATP titles: Dutch Open on clay court, being his maiden and second on indoor hard court at Open de Moselle in France.
Rapid climb up the success ladder: Once Djokovic tasted early success there was no looking back. Novak Djokovic started year 2007 on a pleasant note by being champion and runner-up at Masters Series events at California and Florida respectively. These victories catapulted Djokovic to ATP top 10 rankings. In the same year, Djokovic fought hard to reach semi-finals of Australian Open only to find Rafael Nadal in his way. The year 2007 also saw Djokovic winning a 5-hour battle against Marcos Baghdatis to reach semi-finals against Rafael Nadal. But, misfortune struck Djokovic when he had to leave the match midway after being retired hurt. Then came Novak Djokovic's claim to fame when he achieved victories on trot against the then World no.3 Andy Roddick, No.2 Rafael Nadal and then No.1 Roger Federer in the Rogers Cup tournament organised at Montreal. These Djokovic's victories against arguably the greatest No.1 & no.2 players in history of Tennis stunned both his critics and supporters alike. Soon, Djokovic was started to be counted among favourites for major tournaments thereafter. Meanwhile, Djokovic started playing equally good tennis in doubles too. This was evident when Djokovic along with Jelena Jankovic reached finals of Hopman Cup, a team tournament in Australia.
Success at Grand Slam: Novak Djokivic's first moment of glory came in year 2008 when he won his first Grand slam title in the form of Australian Open by defeating Jo Wilfred Tsonga. The championship victory tasted sweet especially when it included victory over Tennis legend Roger Federer. This period followed a lean period in Grand Slams for Novak Djokovic with no Grand slam titles in year 2009 and 2010; Novak kept reaching semi-finals or quarterfinals but somehow couldn't achieve the ultimate glory. Djokovic came most near to winning the Grand Slam title in form of 2010 US mens open where he lost to Rafael Nadal in finals. But his run in events other than Grand slams was commendable with Barclays ATP World Tour, China Open and Davis cup adding to his championship tally.
A perfect 2011 season: Novak Djokovic had a dream run in the 2011 season in which he was on an unbeaten streak of 43 matches. Such was the incredibility of this dream run, that Novak Djokovic won 3 Grand slam finals, 5 Master series titles, Dubai and Serbian open in this run. This run was equally rewarding in terms of monetary returns as Novak Djokovic took home a handsome amount of 12.6 million dollars in form of prize money. Be it Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray no one could stop Novak Djokovic; though his 43 match streak was eventually ended by Federer but that was only after their few meetings earlier in the season where Federer lost.
Novak Djokovic in the Olympics:
Novak Djokovic took pride in representing his home nation, Serbia in the Beijing Summer Olympics 2008. Novak really fancied his chances of gold after Federer was ousted from the Olympic singles. But, his dreams ended when Rafael Nadal beat him 6-4,1-6,6-4 in best of three sets at Olympic Green Tennis Center in Beijing 2008. In the match, Djokovic came back from being a set down to crush Nadal 6-1 in the second set but lost in the third. Novak Djokovic went as favourite in match for Bronze medal against James Blake. The match went into tie breaker set with Djokovic winning 6-3,7-6 (7-4). This Olympic victory meant a lot for Djokovic as he was jubilant after hard earned victory and even threw off his shirt in to the spectators. Many things have changed since then. Four years hence, Djokovic is a very changed player and most importantly he is current world no.1 and on the top of his game. Djokovic is very keen to represent his country again at the London Olympics 2012. In fact, Novak Djokovic himself has admitted that London Olympics 2012 is one of his biggest priorities this year. So, Djokovic can be a name to reckon with in 2012 Olympics given the current rampaging form he is in.
Awards received by Novak Djokovic:
Novak Djokovic has been an excellent tennis player all through his career. When you achieve that kind of excellence you are bound to be felicitated. Some of the important awards received by Novak Djokovic are:
- Laureus World Sports Award - 2012: Laureus World Sports Awards are handed over to the best sportsmen in previous year. Novak Djokovic was adjudged as Laureus World Sportsman of the year 2012.
- ATP Player of the year - 2011:Association of Tennis Professionals awards the outstanding tennis mens player and women player with ATP Player of the year award. Due to great performance on ATP tours tennis championships, Novak Djokovic was honoured with ATP Player of the year 2011.
- ITF World Champion - 2011: Such was the golden run of Novak Djokovic in recent times, that he was adjudged ITF World Champion by International Tennis Federation for the year 2011.
- ATP Most Improved Player of the Year - 2006, 2007: Association of Tennis Professionals acknowledges the improvement shown by a tennis player throughout the year in ATP recognized events. Novak Djokovic's improvement in his initial years was tremendous and he burst into top-40 and subsequently top-20. This performance did not go unnoticed and Novak Djokovic was ATP Most Improved Player of the year for two consecutive years 2006, 2007.
About Personal life of Novak Djokovic:
Novak Djokovic's playing style on Tennis court is seen as aggressive, but his personality off the court is more of a humorous kind. In fact, Djokovic has an element of comic entertainer in him and this fact came forth after his victory in 2007 US Open quarterfinal where his funny imitation of playing styles of contemporary tennis players, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova, made crowd burst into laughter! Djokovic is also known to have impersonated Tennis legend John McEnroe. Djokovic has even been nicknamed as Djoker due to his antics and surname. Djokovic is a Serbian Orthodox Christian. Novac Djokovic has even openly showcased his love for Serbian churches by assisting Serbian churches and monasteries in the past. Djokovic also enjoys the game of football and admires Serbian football club, Red Star Belgrade, Italian football club AC Milan and Portuguese football club S.L. Benfica. Novak Djokovic's girlfriend Jelena Ristic is seen cheering for him in many matches involving him. Jelena is being dated by Djokovic since 2005; so this one seems to be a very long match indeed, but scores are still love-all!
Interesting facts and trivia about Novak Djokovic:
Novak Djokovic lives a very happening life both on and off the tennis court. Some interesting bits of facts about Djokovic are:
- Novak Djokovic is master of many languages. As of now, Djokovic speaks and understands Serbian, German, English and Italian.
- Djokovic's younger brothers, Marko and Ðorde, are following their elder brother's footsteps and are also trying hard to be professional tennis players. Now that's what you can call a "tennis-family"!
- Djokovic's success in tennis along with his unique persona has earned him Oscar of popularity for male athlete for year 2009 and 2010 in Serbia.
- A song titled "The Joker" is dedicated to Novak Djokovic by Serbian rock band Zona-B.
- Djokovic also appears in a song "Hello" composed by French DJ Martin Solveig for his studio album Smash
- Djokovic's interesting personality and willing attitude for attending humorous shows led to his appearance on many television programmes like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, El Hormiguero, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Frost Over the World, Live with Regis and Kelly, CBS' The Early Show and NBC's Today.
- Novak Djokovic's onscreen appearances are not limited to small screen only but he has also played a cameo in the Hollywood movie The Expendables 2.
- Along with his acting talent, world became familiar with his singing talent too when Novak Djokovic sang a song about the city of Belgrade at Eurovision Song Contest 2008 semi-finals where he was the special guest.
Novak Djokovic's desire to win London Olympics 2012 singles gold:
Very few tennis players have succeeded in defeating Novak Djokovic in the recent past. If that remains the trend and Djokovic continues to play the quality of tennis he is currently, then Novak Djokovic is an overwhelming favourite for the London Olympic gold in the singles tournament. Before heading to London, few player like Novak have been projected as hot favourites to win gold in their respective sport. Other such hot favourites are Yelena Isinbayeva in pole vault, Usain bolt and Tyson Gay in sprint events and few more. Indians too have their own hot favourites to put up best show at the Olympic level. Hopes of billions of Indians rest upon youngsters like ace swimmer Virdhawal Khade, Indian hockey penalty corner specialist Sandeep Singh and many more!
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