Victory Is His! 7 Things To Know About Wimbledon 2018's Men's Singles Champ Novak Djokovic
In a tense climb to the top during the Wimbledon men's singles competition, Novak Djokovic fought tooth and nail to deserve his coveted title. In the end, the efforts of this tennis player that's touted to be one of the best of his generation have been rewarded in the best of ways, as he's officially been named a champion.
The 31-year-old emerged victorious when he dominated his final match that put him head to head with Kevin Anderson. Winning three straight sets against the South African, Novak claimed the gold when he broke the last match's tie, ultimately ending with a score of 6-2, 6-2, 7-6, (7-3). The win was made sweeter by the fact that Novak had met big expectations of his performance; his last entry into a major competition was two years ago at the 2016 US Open, and many of tennis' bigwigs were counting on him to make a comeback—and make a comeback, he did.
Always a gracious player, win or lose, the Serbian athlete greeted his worthy opponent before accepting his trophy and celebrating with the people who were most supportive of him throughout this physically and emotionally taxing experience on the court: his coaching team, and most endearingly, his wife Jelena and three-year-old boy, Stefan.
"For the first time in my life, I have someone screaming daddy, daddy!"— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 15, 2018
A 13th Grand Slam title for @DjokerNole, but this one will hold a special place in his heart ??#Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/sQRClwWT0i
Overall, this championship marks his fourth Wimbledon title. His other major wins include 13 Grand Slam singles titles, five ATP Finals titles, 30 Masters 1000 series titles, two US Open titles and one French Open title, among many others.
Without a doubt, Novak has gone a long way since his humble beginnings as a primary school student in Yugoslavia with only ambition and raw talent to propel him to athletic greatness. But even with the heights he's reached, Novak has remained grounded and approachable, even paying it forward with his philanthropic initiatives.
To learn more about this tennis legend with history-making achievements, check out seven things about him we're sure you'd love to know.
He was the first Serbian player to be ranked number one by the Association of Tennis Professionals.
The prestigious organization was formed in the 70s to support with the purpose of supporting and promoting the world's best male professional players. Tennis professionals and enthusiasts alike turn to their rankings that are computed based on head-to-head results, and are often used as the basis for all tournament seeding.
Novak has a reputation for being a goof on the court.
A welcome goof, that is. Even during high-stress tournaments, Novak is known to keep a level-head and even a healthy sense of humor. He's been photographed, filmed, and witnessed impersonating his opponents, usually always in good taste, as many of them are good friends of his outside the world of competitive tennis—for the most part. His impersonations are so popular that there are hilarious fan-made compilations on them strewn all over the Internet.
It's family first for Novak.
His Wimbledon win was a double victory for him, as it was the first time his toddler son saw him play—and come out on top! Wimbledon has a decades-old rule of not allowing children aged five or younger to games, so seeing Stef cheer for him in his front row seat when he claimed his trophy was indeed extremely heartwarming. Novak's biggest fans will know how special the moment was, as his Instagram account that documents so many adorable moments with his wife and kids prove that he's a proud family man.
Now that he's capable, he makes sure to lend a helping hand to the less fortunate.
The Novak Djokovic Foundation was established to give preschool age kids quality early childhood education. Having been one of the lucky few of his community and country to have been nurtured and cared for at an early age, he is a testament to the power of giving kids life-changing opportunities early in life.
He married his high school sweetheart.
Jelena Ristic is one lucky lady! Novak asked this pretty blonde to marry him in 2013 after eight years of dating, and had their first child a year after. Novak makes no attempt to temper his affection for her, often taking breaks during competitions to share a quick word, an embrace, or even a smooch with her.
Rafael Nadal is considered his longtime rival.
It's a feud that's reported to have started since their teens when they first faced each other on the court in junior’s tournaments. Later on in life, as they matured as men off the courts and athletes on mission, they "made up" to the best of their abilities, saying that they respected and admired each other for their athletic prowess—but could never be "friends" in the truest sense of the word.
Novak was a child athlete.
Discovered at the age of four by female Yugoslavian tennis player Jelena Gencic, Novak was supervised by her for most of his training until his pre-teens. He then spent a chunk of his formative years in Germany where he sharpened his skills under other great coaches and proceeded to compete in juniors tournaments, slowly carving a name for himself in the European sports scene before competing overseas.
Photos from @djokernole