World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic is celebrating his 33rd birthday today. To celebrate the Serbian tennis superstar’s birthday, we are sharing some fun facts about the man with you.
- Novak Djokovic’s father bought him his first tennis racket when he was just four years old.
- Novak can speak five languages. He speaks Serbian, English, French, German, and Italian.
- He met his wife, Jelena Ristić, in high school, and began dating her in 2005. They got engaged in September 2013 and got married on 10 July 2014. They have two children, a son named Stefan and a daughter named Tara.
- Novak Djokovic owns his own line of themed cafes and restaurants in Belgrade.
- Djokovic only drinks warm water because he believes cold water slows down digestion and diverts blood away from where he wants it — in his muscles.
- In 1993, at the age of six, Djokovic was spotted by Yugoslav tennis player Jelena Gencic. After seeing the young Djokovic playing tennis, she said “This is the greatest talent I have seen since Monica Seles.” Gencic worked with young Djokovic over the next six years before realizing that due to his fast development, going abroad in search of an increased level of competition was the best option for him. She contacted Nikola Pilic and in September 1999 the 12-year-old moved to the Pilic tennis academy in Germany. He spent four years at the academy.
- Djokovic played in his first Grand Slam tournament at the 2005 Australian Open. Unfortunately he was defeated by eventual champion Marat Safin in the first round of the tournament in straight sets.
- He won his first ATP title at the 2006 Dutch Open in Amersfoort without losing a set beating Nicolas Massu in the final.
- Novak Djokovic won his first grand slam title by winning the 2008 Australian Open, He reached his second consecutive Grand Slam final without dropping a set, including a big victory over two-time defending champion Roger Federer in the semi-finals. By reaching the semi-finals, Djokovic became the youngest player to have reached the semi-finals in all four Grand Slam events. Djokovic defeated Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in four sets in the final to earn his first Grand Slam singles title.
- He founded the Novak Djokovic Foundation in November 2007 which helps underprivileged children in Serbia to get an education. The organization also provides the traveling expenses of young Serbian athletes participating in international competitions.
- After defeating Rafael Nadal in 2014 to win the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, Djokovic donated his prize money to the flood-affected people of Serbia.
- He has celebrated each of his Wimbledon victories by eating blades of grass from the court! He says that the grass tastes sweet.
- Novak Djokovic has won a massive seventeen grand slam titles in his tennis career so far! He has won the Australian Open eight times, Wimbledon five times, the US Open three times and the French Open once.