Djokovic, the new world number one player is defending his crown at the 2012 Mubadala World Tennis Championship. He opened the 2012 season by winning his third straight Grand Slam at the Australian Open, beating Rafael Nadal in the longest major final in history at five hours and 53 minutes. The win was his fifth Grand Slam title.
Besides the Australian Open he has won two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in 2012 at the Sony Open in Miami and Rogers Cup in Canada. Djokovic reached the finals at both Roland Garros and the US Open where he fell to Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, respectively and reached the Semifinals at Wimbledon where he was defeated by eventual champion Roger Federer. In 2012 Djokovic went 35-4 in hard court matches.
He was a member of the victorious 2010 Serbian Davis Cup team, and in 2011 finished as the World No. 1 winning 10 events in 11 finals, including three Grand Slams and a record five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles. He sported a 70-6 match record in 2011 and was the first player since Roger Federer, in 2006, to win at least 10 titles in one year.
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. In 2007 he appeared in Vogue Magazine. 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. He works with physiotherapist Milan Amanovic as well as Gebhard Phil-Gritsch.
Djokovic opened the season winning his first 41 matches including his second career Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. He followed up with a victory in Dubai which included a win over Roger Federer in the final and then back-to-back finals wins over Rafael Nadal at Indian Wells and the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. He went on to win his second career title at Belgrade and then defeated Rafael Nadal twice in clay court finals at Madrid and Rome.