Novak Djokovic’s Long Journey
Djokovic the Tennis Player:
Novak Djokovic (also known as Nole, or Djoker) is most famous for his accomplishments in the tennis world. Coming from a family of professional skiers and football players, Djokovic was already well set for a sports career, but it was Jelena Gencic’s tennis lessons that stole his heart at the age of four. According to his official web page, Djokovic would watch Gencic’s tennis lessons every day until, one day, she invited him into one of her lessons. It was at that moment, Djokovic’s life as a tennis player had begun. At thirteen, with Gencic’s encouragement to his parents, Djokovic’s tennis education moved to Germany, where he learned under Nikola Pilic. Both of his early coaches noted his great focus on the sport despite his young age, and expected great things of him in the tennis world— they were right to. Soon after his move to Munich, the young Djokovic started making his way up in the professional tennis world.
At 14, he was a triple European champion, and even won a silver medal at the World Junior Championship in a team competition for Yugoslavia. These achievements alone were impressive feats, but he didn’t stop there. At 16, he made his pro debut by becoming the 40th best junior tennis player in the world after competing in 5 ITF tournaments, and finally in 2006, at just 19 years old, Djokovic became the youngest player in the top 20. Djokovic’s dream was soon to be realized. The very next year, in 2007, he played his way into the top 10 when he broke the reign of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in Key Biscayne. In the same year, he became number 3 in the world, and held it for 91 consecutive weeks. The two-year fight to the top was a long and hard one, but finally in the 2011 Wimbledon Championships, he became the number 1 player that we all know today; he’s been doing a tremendous job keeping his top position. Now at 28, he has also become the first man in the Open Era to win 3 consecutive Australian Open titles, the first man to capture 5 Australian Open titles, the only man to win the Indian Wells and the Miami titles for 3 times, the first man in history to capture 4 successive season-ending singles titles, and is still going strong.
All of his athletic achievements are enough to blow away the minds of his observers, but Djokovic isn’t just a sportsman. A caring man shares the body of the athlete.
Djokovic the Humanitarian:
Novak Djokovic has the dream life, with a prosperous career in his greatest interest, and a lovely, supportive family. In his great fortune though, he still realizes there are those less fortunate than him, and fights for those who don’t have the same strength for themselves. In 2007, Djokovic founded the Novak Djokovic Foundation, which helps to provide children access to a preschool education. With his foundation, Djokovic hopes to encourage everyone to “believe in [the children’s] dreams” and to help make those dreams a possibility by creating a supportive environment to grow. So far, his foundation has finished 37 projects, renovated or built 17 schools, offered training to more than 600 teachers, donated 3000 books, and built a sensory park for autistic children among other things, which helped more than 7500 children, and raised $1,400,000 at the inaugural benefit dinner in New York in 2013. Not only does he have his foundation, Djokovic also serves as an ambassador for UNICEF in Serbia to defend children’s rights and provide access to early education. For his efforts, he has received many humanitarian awards such as the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian award in 2012, and the Centrepoint Premier Award for Contribution to the Lives of Youth from the Duke of Cambridge.
In both aspects of his life, Novak Djokovic is exemplary. He is successfully working in his dream profession, and sharing his wealth of happiness and strength to those around him. Perhaps he too will become an inspiration for those watching him, like his childhood hero Pete Sampras.
For more information on Novak Djokovic, please feel free to refer to these sites: