Without doubt, Novak Djokovic is one of the most impressive players in the history of tennis. While he’s now aged 30 and it could be argued he is now towards the end of his peak, look at the success of Roger Federer. His immense physical condition and smart dieting has ensured that, in time, Djokovic will refine his game and become suited to a less physical intensive style. Until that happens, though, we should enjoy the skills and traits of this bionic mastermind.
At 6’2’, the Belgrade-born superstar brings a hugely powerful physique to the court. Add into the fact he carries some of the most lethal and accurate shots in the game, on top of a nearly indefatigable nature, and it’s easy to see why, for many, Djokovic ranks among the very best to ever don the racket.
He first began playing at the age of four, living with his father, mother and two brothers. His father, uncle and aunt were all professional skiing stars, while his father was an outstanding footballer. At first, the young Novak was expected to turn to football or skiing, but a natural affinity for tennis shone through time and time again. Football still plays a major part in his life, though: Djokovic is a massive supporter of AC Milan of Italy.
By age 12, he’d move to Munich and was taking part in the Niki Pilic Academy, where he spend two years prior to returning to Belgrade. By 16, he’d made his professional debut and was beginning to build one of the most amazing careers ever seen. From his outstanding level of play to even serving on the ATP Players Council twice as President, the Serbian legend has done more for the game on the court as well as off it.
His list of trophies and wins is nearly endless, with a host of Grand Slam titles as well as winning various personal awards like the BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year, which he won in 2013.
An excellent player on grass, you would not know that Djokovic prefers to play on a hard surface. Although he’s very well-rounded as his trophy haul showcases, he excels on harder surfaces. His best shot, though hard to choose, is the back-hand swift that goes down the line, or even a service return. His overall game, though, is one of the most refined around.
He holds a whopping 67 singles titles, which is the sixth highest of any Open Era player. With the third most titles among active players, too, with plenty more to come, he is one of the most consistent winners on the court. In 2015-16, he advanced to a barely believable 17 finals in a row, the most since Federer and just one shy of Lendl, who managed 18.
Overall, the sheer volume of trophies that he has won – alongside 12 Grand Slams, ranking him joint-4th – puts him up there in the pantheon of the very elite stars.