Before the US Open, Novak Djokovic knows his role

For all the dizzying moves Djokovic has made – like putting on a much-maligned exhibition tour in Belgrade in the midst of the pandemic, ...


For all the dizzying moves Djokovic has made – like putting on a much-maligned exhibition tour in Belgrade in the midst of the pandemic, hitting a linesman in the throat with an angry blow during the US Open. last year, upending the tennis establishment by trying to start the breakaway Association of Professional Tennis Players and even denying compatriot Nina Stojanovic a possible bronze medal when he retired from the mixed doubles playoffs at the Olympics – there’s a lot to like about this guy.

He’s always polite, remembers people’s names, says please and thank you very much, and almost always compliments an opponent’s play whether they win or lose.

By its foundation, he and his wife, Jelena, have supported around 47,500 children in Serbia. This spring, he shelled out over $ 1 million to host two ATP tournaments and a WTA tournament in Belgrade after other events around the world were canceled due to the pandemic, then ensured their success by being the head poster of both.

Djokovic announced that he was playing at the Olympics in a video birthday message to a 6-year-old Japanese boy. He also noticed, during his wimbledon final against Matteo Berrettini, a young girl sitting at the edge of the court and holding up a sign with encouraging words. After his victory, he trotted and handed the girl her winning racket. In Tokyo, he stayed in the Olympic Village, which most other top players refused to do, and spent time giving advice to other athletes for success.

One of the people Djokovic has encouraged is 20-year-old Serbian player Olga Danilovic. At the Australian Open in January, Danilovic made his way to qualifying and was stranded in a first round battle with Petra Martic. Suddenly she looked up and saw Djokovic watching his game. The support, she said, helped upset her No.16 seed Martic.

“People judge a book by its cover and in this case that’s really wrong,” said Danilovic, who cherishes a racket Djokovic gave him. “For me, he’s one of the greatest people in the world. He gives his support when you need it and you can always see his fighting spirit.

As a child, Djokovic avoided mathematics and science in favor of more creative subjects such as geography and linguistics. (He speaks six languages.) But throughout his career he has sought a competitive edge by soaking up everything from sports psychology and mysticism to quantum physics and electricity. He is known to travel with a motorhome that he parks outside tennis stadiums and uses to decompress.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Before the US Open, Novak Djokovic knows his role
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