2014 IN REVIEW
Entering this year’s tournament ranked World No. 1 in the Emirates ATP World Rankings, three time Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) winner Novak Djokovic will return to Abu Dhabi this January to defend his Championship title and kick-start the 2015 tennis season.
Novak Djokovic started his 2014 season falling to eventual Australian Open winner – and fellow MWTC player - Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarterfinals. In March, Djokovic won his third Indian Wells title, also taking home his first trophy in the 2014 season. Djokovic followed up Indian Wells with another crown in the Miami Open later the same month.
May saw Novak withdraw from the Mutua Madrid Open after suffering a recurring right arm injury that pained him while he played in Monte-Carlo. He returned to tennis at the end of the month to defeat Rafael Nadal in Rome, winning his 19th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy and winning five of the past seven titles at the 1000 tournament level.
Djokovic won his seventh Grand Slam championship and second Wimbledon crown this spring beating Roger Federer in four sets in the 2014 Wimbledon Final. On July 7th, Novak reclaimed the World No. 1 ranking ahead of Nadal. Later at the 2014 US open, Djokovic fell to Kei Nishikori of Japan in the semifinals.
Continuing to be coached by Marian Vajda and Boris Becker Novak is currently 23 – 5 on hard court surfaces.
Djokovic, nicknamed “Nole”, began playing tennis at the age of four and made his pro debut at 16. His father, Srjdan, and mother, Dijana, own a company called “Family Sports,” which has three restaurants, a tennis academy and a range of products featuring his likeness on mineral water, candy bars, sugar, clothing and cups among other items. Novak and his family opened a restaurant in Belgrade in 2009 called “Novak”.
His father, uncle and aunt were all professional skiers and his father was also an excellent soccer player. Srjdan wanted Novak to be a soccer player or skier, but Novak excelled at tennis at an early age. He credits his family as his inspiration and is grateful to them for giving him so much support. His younger brothers, Marko and Djordje are both in school and play tennis.
His idol growing up was Pete Sampras and at the age of 12 Novak attended Niki Pilic Academy in Munich, where he practiced for almost two years before returning to Belgrade. Djokovic’s favorite surface is hard court but he considers himself an all-around player. His best shot is backhand down the line.
Novak speaks Serbian, Italian, German and English. In September 2007 his family invited 50 underprivileged Kosovo-Serb children to Belgrade to be courtside for the Serbia-Australia Davis Cup World Group Tie. Novak was elected to a two-year term on the ATP Player council in June 2008. He earned the ATP Player of the Year award in 2011 and in February 2012 he was named the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year.
Djokovic has been coached by former ATP pro and Slovak Republic native Marian Vajda since June 2006.