Childhood & Early Life
He was born on May 22, 1987, in Belgrade, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to Srđan Djokovic and his wife Dijana. His father was a professional flier and also excelled in soccer.
His younger brothers Djordje and Marko play tennis and aspire to become professional players.
When he was four years old, he got introduced to the game. During the summer of 1993, he was spotted by Serbian tennis player and coach Jelena Genčić in his parents’ fast-food joint at Mount Kopaonik. She was amazed by his excellent performance at such a young age. She went on to coach the budding star until 1999.
For his further development, Genčić made arrangements for him to train under former Croatian tennis player Nikola Pilić. In September 1999, the 12-year-old boy was shifted to the Pilić tennis academy in Oberschleißheim, Germany, where he spent four years.
He made his international debut in 2001 at the age of 14, and won the European championship’s singles and doubles titles. He was also a player of the winning team. In 2001, he was part of the ‘Junior Davis Cup’ team from Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that reached the final. Unfortunately, Djokovic was defeated in his singles match.
His junior career was partly impressive with a win-loss record of 40-11 in singles and 23-6 in doubles. He was unable to win any ‘Grand Slam’ titles. In February 2004, his combined world ranking in juniors was 24.
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In 2003, he turned pro and initially played in ‘ATP Challenger Series’ and ‘Futures’ tournaments, winning three of each type in the first three years of his career.
In 2005, he qualified for ‘Australian Open,’ his first ‘Grand Slam’ tournament. Unfortunately, he was eliminated in the first round by Marat Safin, the eventual winner of that year’s title.
He ventured into the world of business in 2005 when his family founded the ‘Family Sport,’ daily operations of which are primarily handled by his father and uncle. In 2009, the company bought the ‘Dutch Open,’ one of the ATP tournaments, and brought it to Serbia. The tournament is presently called ‘Serbia Open.’
From 2006, he was coached by former Slovak tennis player Marián Vajda. From December 2013, former world No. 1 German tennis player Boris Becker became his head coach.
In 2006, he received his first two ATP titles by winning ‘Dutch Open’ and ‘Moselle Open.’ That year, he broke into ATP’s top 20 rankings list for the first time in his career.
He won his first ‘Master Series’ in 2007, emerging champion at the event held in Key Biscayne and breaking into the world’s top 10 list. His major achievement came in that year’s ‘Roger Cup’ where he defeated world’s top three ranked players— Andy Roddick (No. 3), Rafael Nadal (No, 2), and Roger Federer (No. 1)—in the quarterfinals, semi-finals, and finals, respectively. That year, he was named best athlete of Serbia by ‘Olympic Committee of Serbia’ and also received the ‘Golden Badge.’
His first ‘Grand slam’ singles title came in 2008 at the ‘Australian Open’ where he won the semi-finals against the defending champion Roger Federer and finals against unseeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. He also won his first ‘Tennis Masters Cup’ title that year.
He was part of the Serbian team that won the ‘Davis Cup’ by defeating France in 2010.
He was at his best in 2011, winning three of the four ‘Grand Slam’ titles (US Open, Wimbledon, and Australian Open). He also won a total of ten tournaments that saw him winning 43 matches in a row. His wins included five ‘ATP World Tour Masters 1000’ titles. He reached the pinnacle of success when he secured the World No. 1 rank on July 4, 2011. He also created a new record by winning maximum single season prize money of $12 million in the ‘ATP World Tour.’
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He successfully defended the ‘Australian Open’ title in 2012 and 2013 against Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray respectively, but lost to Stan Wawrinka in 2014. He reclaimed the title in 2015 by defeating Wawrinka in the semi-finals and Murray in finals. He then defended the title successfully in January 2016 by beating Murray once again.
He won four other ‘ATP World Tour’ finals consecutively in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
In 2014, he clinched his second ‘Wimbledon’ singles title after defeating Roger Federer. As defending champion, he regained his title in 2015, once again beating Federer. In 2015, he won his second ‘US Open’ singles title and with that repeated his feat of winning three ‘Grand Slam’ titles in a calendar year.
Djokovic won the 2016 ‘Miami Open’ for the third consecutive time on 3 April 2016.
In January 2018, he won against Dominic Thiem in straight sets at the ‘Kooyong Classic’ exhibition tournament.
Djokovic defeated John Millman in straight sets to win the ‘Japan Open’ in October 2019. He also defeated Nadal in straight sets to win the 2019 ‘Australian Open.’
At the 2019 'Wimbledon Championships,' he successfully defended his title against Roger Federer. At the 2020 'Australian Open,' he defeated Roger Federer in straight sets in the semi-final and Dominic Thiem in five sets in the final to win his eighth 'Australian Open' title.
He endorses companies and brands, such as ‘Telekom Srbija,’ ‘FitLine,’ ‘Mercedes-Benz,’ and ‘Seiko.’
He has appeared in many television programs like ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,’ ‘El Hormiguero,’ and ‘Live with Regis and Kelly.’ He has also been featured in a music video titled ‘Hello.’
Personal Life & Legacy
He started dating Jelena Ristić in 2005, and got engaged to her in September 2013.
On July 10, 2014, they got married in ‘Sveti Stefan,’ a small islet and hotel resort in Montenegro. On July 12, their church wedding took place in the ‘Church of Saint Stephen.’ Their son Stefan was born on October 21 that year.
Apart from Serbian, Djokovic can speak English, Italian, and German languages.