Novak Djokovic: In search of really like alongside tennis immortality

The Serb has extended been in search of the lacking ingredient to make him an equal of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the hearts of tennis enthusiasts

The Serb has extensive been seeking the missing component to make him an equal of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the hearts of tennis followers

Novak Djokovic is previously a sporting immortal but he will be desperately hoping he is ultimately getting to be a “people’s champion” right after successful a seventh Wimbledon crown on Sunday.

The Serb has extensive been in search of the lacking ingredient to make him an equal of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the hearts of tennis admirers.

His 4-set victory in excess of unseeded Nick Kyrgios nudges him in advance of Federer into next position in the all-time list of Grand Slam men’s winners with 21 titles, one guiding Nadal.

Djokovic nibbled a blade of grass in his customary celebration in advance of generating his “cup of love” gesture to all corners of the Centre Court, who roared their approval for the champion.

When Federer and Nadal get pleasure from an virtually god-like status in the game, the Serb has been a player that lovers have located much more tough to love.

Several experienced now picked either the Swiss or the Spaniard as “their man” by the time Djokovic won his to start with major in 2008, leaving him in a situation as the awkward interloper.

The Serb, who still left Belgrade when he was 12 to coach in Munich and escape NATO’s bombardment of his property metropolis, is a spikier character than the clean, unruffled Federer or the self-effacing Nadal.

Fiery character

His notorious default from the US Open up in 2020 for petulantly swiping at a ball that hit a feminine line choose gave a glimpse of his fiery character.

And some of his personal beliefs have drawn criticism — such as his refusal to have the coronavirus vaccine, a determination that value him a put in this year’s Australian Open up.

1 declare that elevated eyebrows was his belief that it was feasible to alter the composition of water and food items via favourable considering.

Djokovic — so utilized to battling the group alongside with his opponent — appeared to have turned a corner at final year’s US Open closing, which he dropped to Daniil Medvedev

He gained heartfelt assistance from supporters urging him to combat again against Medvedev but it was eventually in vain as he missed his possibility to turn out to be the initial man to acquire a calendar Grand Slam due to the fact Rod Laver in 1969.

“The quantity of assistance and vitality and really like I acquired from the group was something I’ll try to remember eternally,” he reported, supplying an indication of how a lot it signifies to him.

Time seems to be on the side of the Serb in his quest to be thought of the greatest player of all time and to additional earn in excess of the fans.

Federer, approaching his 41st birthday, has been out of action for a calendar year following a knee operation although Nadal, 36, pulled out just before his semi-closing at Wimbledon with an belly harm.

Djokovic, just a yr youthful than Nadal, demonstrates no sign of losing his actual physical edge — if anything, he appears to be obtaining much better with age.

But he seems very likely to be kicking his heels when the US Open commences next thirty day period at Flushing Meadows.

Below recent US law, he would not be permitted to travel to perform as he has not been vaccinated towards Covid.

It is also unclear irrespective of whether he will be able to journey to Melbourne to enjoy in the Australian Open in January right after his deportation before this yr subsequent a row over his vaccination standing.

Djokovic, who has invested a history selection of months as world amount 1, is now certain of his location in tennis history.

To insert lustre to his achievements, he has winning information in excess of both Federer and Nadal — 27-23 over the Swiss and 30-29 around the Spaniard.

Djokovic captured the initial of his majors at the Australian Open in 2008 but it was 3 a long time right before he added his 2nd.

He dropped gluten from his diet regime and his lithe physique allowed him to chase down shed leads to, reworking him into the rubber man of tennis with a rock-constant defence.

In 2011 he savored a impressive yr, profitable a few of three Slams and turning into environment quantity 1 for the 1st time.

Since then he has gained at minimum a single Grand Slam just about every year considering that aside from in 2017.

Djokovic married extended-time girlfriend Jelena Ristic in July 2014 and they have two children, a son, Stefan, and daughter, Tara.

Father and son have been pictured actively playing alongside one another at Wimbledon this year but though the seven-year-outdated could possibly be a upcoming star Djokovic senior is considerably from finished.

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