Athlete Profile: Novak Djokovic
Weight: 170 lbs.
Birthplace: Belgrade, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia
Singles Ranking: 12
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Coach: Marián Vajda
Career Titles: 68
Residence: Monte Carlo, Monaco
At 30 years of age, Novak Djokovic has already had a phenomenal career that has included 12 Grand Slam singles titles, five ATP Finals titles, five ITF World Champion awards, 30 Masters 1000 series titles, and the distinction of holding the ATP No. 1 ranking for 223 weeks. In 2016, he became the third man in history to hold all four major Grand Slam titles at once.
Born in Serbia and introduced to tennis at just four years old, Djokovic quickly demonstrated a talent for the sport. At the age of six, he was discovered by Jelena Gencic, who recognized his ability and coached him until he was twelve, at which point he moved to the Pilic Tennis Academy in Germany. He began competing internationally as a member of the Yugoslav national team in 2001. In 2004, he reached a combined junior world ranking of 24 and reached the semi-finals in the 2004 junior Australian Open.
Djokovic began playing professionally in 2003. He qualified for the Australian Open in 2005 and made it to the third round in both Wimbledon and the US Open that year. In 2006, he made it to the quarterfinals at the French Open and the fourth round at Wimbledon. He was subsequently ranked as one of the top 40 singles players in the world.
Djokovic helped the Serbia Davis Cup team to advance to the 2008 world group after winning all his matches in the 2007 play-offs, assisting in the team’s victory over Australia. In 2008, he became the youngest player to reach the semi-finals in all four Grand Slam events, took home the bronze medal in the Olympics, and won the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai. He wowed the world in 2011 with ten tournament victories, including the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. That year, he broke records by winning five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles and being awarded the most prize money in a single ATP World Tour season in history. He finished the year with a No. 1 ranking.
Djokovic became the eighth player in history to achieve the Career Grand Slam—and the third to hold all four major titles at once—in 2016. He also had his third consecutive wins in both the Indian Wells and the Miami Open that year, becoming the first male singles player in history to do so. His winning streak came to an end at Wimbledon though, and he was also defeated at the US Open and in Shanghai and Paris, losing his No. 1 ranking by the end of the year.
Djokovic’s coaching has undergone many changes throughout his career. He was coached by Dejan Petrovic and Riccardo Piatti prior to entering into a long-term coaching relationship with Marian Vajda from June 2006 until May 2017. In December 2013, Boris Becker joined Djokovic’s coaching team, where he remained until the end of the 2016 season. In 2017, Djokovic parted ways with Vajda and took on Andre Agassi and Radek Stepanek as coaches, but split with both by early April 2018, reuniting with Vajda in an unofficial coaching arrangement later that month, having recently recovered from elbow surgery.
Widely considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Dvojovic is moving beyond the challenges of the past couple of years and is steadfastly preparing for the 2018 clay season, full speed ahead.