Top-ranked tennis star Novak Djokovic and his girlfriend Jelena Ristic have been dating for around eight years. We have grown used to seeing Ristic courtside at almost all of Djokovic’s matches, and she also happens to be the director of his charity foundation. That’s why it comes as no surprise that the happy couple is engaged.
Serbian news outlet InSerbia.com first reported that Djokovic proposed to Ristic earlier this week in Monte Carlo. After news of the engagement got out, Djokovic confirmed things via Twitter.
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) September 25, 2013
If you remember, Djokovic recently said that he and Ristic have talked about marriage and spending their future together. To make the story a bit more interesting, there have also been rumors that world No. 3-ranked tennis player Andy Murray could be Djokovic’s best man.
The wedding bells have been a long time coming for Djokovic and Ristic. Marriage makes perfect sense for a couple that seems to have such a positive influence on each other’s lives.
Novak Djokovic has been together with girlfriend Jelena Ristic for several years, though the two have yet to take the next step in their relationship. According to Nole, the two have been together for around eight years. Ristic has been a fixture in Nole’s box during his tennis matches for the past several tournaments. The Serbian tennis player says they have talked about getting married.
“We have been together for eight years and we are planning joint future because we really love each other very much. We provide emotional stability to each other, which helps us in our professional careers,” Djokovic was recently quoted as saying, per Tennis Earth.
Ristic also says the two have talked about a potential wedding.
“We spoke about the wedding, that is natural course of things,” Ristic has been quoted as saying, per Tennis Earth. “Our mutual feelings lead us to it. When we have children, they will inherit excellent genes from both sides, because my mother was Olympic champion in handball. I am very proud of Novak, no matter what he does.”
Nole is the current No. 1 player in the world. He has won six grand slam events, including the Australian Open four times. He also won the US Open and Wimbledon as part of a highly successful 2011 season, which saw him win three of the four majors. The only grand slam he has not won is the French Open, where he reached the finals in 2012. But Djokovic has beaten Rafael Nadal three times on clay, including a straight sets win in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters earlier this year, so that may come eventually.
In her Twitter profile, Ristic calls herself a daughter, sister, girlfriend and consultant. She is also the director of Novak Djokovic’s charity foundation. Between her presence traveling with Djokovic to his events and running his foundation, Ristic is extremely involved in his life and part of his success as a tennis player. Maybe it’s about time they tied the knot, especially with the offseason coming up.
Below are more photos of the two:
In a recent interview with a Serbian outlet, Srdjan took jabs at the behavior of top players Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Srdjan said Federer’s character does not match his reputation as the best player in the history of the game. He also said Nadal began treating Novak differently once Nole started beating the Spaniard. Nadal responded quickly, saying that his relationship with Djokovic (who has had more success against him than any other player in the world) is “very good.”
Whether or not Novak privately agrees with his father, he attempted to clear things up publicly.
“I’m really sorry that his words have caused so much attention, and also that they might have hurt my colleagues in some way, and with whom I have good and fair relationships,” Djokovic said, via Tennis World.
“But as unfortunate as it sounds, I cannot be held responsible for his deeds and for his words because everybody is entitled to their opinion, even my father, and I love him so much, and respect him. He’s helped me so much in my life to arrive where I am but sometimes, you know, people come up with their opinions as they like and me, I have to say that I didn’t have any influence on that. And as I said, I cannot be responsible for it.”
Like I said, it’s entirely possible that Nole agrees with what his father said, but felt he had to distance himself publicly for image purposes. The big irony in all this is that Srdjan said he and his family avoided speaking with the media because they didn’t want to end up in headlines after the media twists words or focuses on only negative items. After what has happened with the one interview he did give, he’d probably be wise to stick to his usual strategy.
- Novak Djokovic
Djokovic’s father, Srdjan, said in an interview that Nadal started treating his son differently after his son started beating the Spaniard on the courts. Nadal says that is not the case.
“My relationship with him [Novak] has always been very good and it still is,” Nadal said at the DC Inter Manacor this week, via Tennis World.
Nadal also indicated that his relationship with Novak is between the two tennis players, and that Srdjan is out of the loop.
“If he wants to know how I get along with Nole, he should better ask his son,” Nadal added.
What would you expect Nadal to say? Of course things are “very good” from his perspective. Would we really expect him to admit that he started acting differently to Nole because he felt threatened by the Serbian player’s success? Come on now.
Novak Djokovic’s father discussed his son’s relationship with some of the other top tennis players in the world in a recent interview, and he says Rafael Nadal’s behavior towards Nole changed after the Serb surpassed the Spaniard as a player.
Nadal leads Djokovic 20-15 head-to-head, thanks largely to a 13-3 record against him on clay. But Djokovic has given Nadal more problems than any other player. He beat Nadal seven straight times, including three straight times in grand slam finals from 2011-2012. Djokovic’s father says Nadal began treating his son differently after that.
Djokovic’s father was also down on Roger Federer, who discredited Djokovic for complaining about injuries.
Here is a translation of Djokovic’s father’s comments:
[Srdjan Djokovic] also said that Nadal used to be Novak’s best friend while he was winning. But when things changed, they were no longer friends. This is not sport, says Srdjan. This is what Novak has in him, but others don’t. Federer may still be the best tennis player in the history of tennis, says Srdjan, but as man he is completely opposite. He attacked Novak at Davis Cup in Geneva, he realized Novak is his successor and in every way tried to discredit him.
That incident described by Srdjan occurred in 2006 when a young Djokovic was facing Federer’s Swiss teammate Stanislas Wawrinka in the Davis Cup. Djokovic called out a trainer for what Federer felt was a lame reason, leading to Federer’s criticism.
“I don’t trust his injuries. I’m serious. I think he’s a joke, you know, when it comes down to his injuries,” Federer said of Djokovic. Federer says the two have patched things up since then.
The one relationship Djokovic’s father says has remained the same is between his son and Andy Murray. The two are nearly identical in age and grew up playing against each other. Even though they have emerged as rivals, Djokovic’s dad expects the two to continue their strong relationship away from the court.
The big irony in all of these comments is that Djokovic’s father said the family tries to avoid interviews and media because they feel like it’s mostly negative or that what they say gets portrayed negatively. He’s probably right about that — he had a long interview talking about how difficult life was trying to give Novak a future in the sport and all the sacrifices they made, and this is the headline he gets. You can go here to read the entire interview, which talks about all the struggles they had when Nole was growing up.
Racquet clap to Beyond the Baseline
Andy Murray has quickly gone from being a player who couldn’t win the big one to being possibly the top player in the world. In many ways, his career is following LeBron James’, which is exactly who he compared himself to before he won the gold medal at the Olympics, the US Open, and Wimbledon. Murray is playing so well lately — he’s won two of the last four majors and the Olympics — that his coach believes he has world No. 1 player Novak Djokovic “under pressure.”
“If somebody has two majors and an Olympic gold medal, and everybody else has only one major each [in the last year], well, [people] can make their own opinion on that,” coach Ivan Lendl said after Murray beat Djokovic in straight sets, per the Guardian.
“Novak is a great player, don’t get me wrong,” Lendl said. “He has had not just a phenomenal 12 months, but basically since the start of 2011 and so the rankings look at all of that. But he is under pressure right now.”
Not only did Murray beat Djokovic in the finals at Wimbledon, but he also beat the Serb in the finals of the US Open, coming back in a grueling five-setter. Djokovic leads in their head-to-head play 11-9, and the two are now 2-2 in the finals of majors (Djokovic has won both their finals at the Australian). Djokovic is nearly 3,000 points ahead of No. 2 Murray in the ATP rankings, but Lendl believes Murray has Novak under fire.
Murray sat out the French Open so that his back injury could heal, and the move paid off. Djokovic has played a somewhat limited schedule this season, winning his first two tournaments of the season including the Australian, and beating Rafael Nadal in the finals at Monte Carlo. He lost to Nadal at the French and Murray at Wimbledon. Sure, Murray has won the last two meetings with Djokovic in the finals of majors, but let’s not discount Novak. It’s not exactly like he’s falling off here. He can very easily quiet Lendl with a win at the US Open.
Grigor Dimitrov and Novak Djokovic played at the Boodles exhibition this week in England, and they definitely entertained the crowd.
Djokovic, who avenged a loss to Dimitrov at the Madrid Open by winning their rematch at the French Open, defeated Dimitrov 5-7, 6-3, 10-6 in the Wimbledon tune-up. The two entertained the crowd, and they gave fans more than an eyeful.
At one point, Djokovic worked the crowd as he prepared to change his shirt, getting them to chant and cheer as he bounced around and gyrated before stripping down. Djokovic then baited Dimitrov and urged him to remove his shirt. Dimitrov gave in and took off his shirt, much to the delight of the fans. Dimitrov even twirled his shirt above his head and tossed it into the crowd.
Everything was done in fun, and it sure seems like Djokovic enjoyed their match:
I thought it was a very exciting match today at Boodles exhibition vs @GrigorDimitrov I really enjoyed our rallies :)
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) June 20, 2013
But the joking around did not end there. Dimitrov then imitated his girlfriend Maria Sharapova, and Djokovic followed with one of his classic impressions of the Russian star. Here’s the video: