Novak Djokovic just won his fourth Wimbledon championship, this time by beating Kevin Anderson, a South African player ranked No. 8 in men’s singles. “Novak, seeded 12th, won 6-2 6-2 7-6 (7-3) to claim a 13th Slam – his first major since the 2016 French Open,” BBC reported.
Novak took control quickly, winning the opening set in 29 minutes, and finally saw off five set points in an even third set, which sealed his victory.
An elbow injury cut Novak’s season short in 2017, he was then knocked out of the Australian Open in January by Hyeon Chung, ranking 58th.
Despite it all, he’s proven he can overcome those obstacles. His mother and father share the belief that he’s the greatest tennis player in history.
They sure are proud today. “There is no better place to make a comeback. It’s a sacred place for the world of tennis. It’s very special,” said Novak.
As the match played out, Novak’s mother Dijana Djokovic, like the rest of the world, could be seen nervously fidgeting with her hands.
Here’s what you need to know about her:
1. Dijana Ran a Fast-Food Parlour With Her Husband Where Novak Was Discovered
Novak began playing tennis at age four. Two years later, he was discovered by Jelena Genčić, a Yugoslav tennis player who happened to catch a glimpse of him playing at Mount Kopaonik where his parents ran a fast-food parlour and family sports business.
Genčić looked at Dijana and said, “This is the greatest talent I have seen since Monica Seles.” Dijana let her young son train with Genčić for the next six years. When it became clear that he was exceptionally talented, she agreed to allow Novak to go abroad where the competition would be fierce.
2. Dijana Always Wanted a Girl; Novak’s Daughter Has Filled That Void
“I always wanted a girl, but my wish was not fulfilled. Nevertheless, now there is Tara. Novak is a wonderful father. The entire family, naturally, is very happy,” Dijana said in an interview with Zena.
“I was the happiest when Tara was born. She reminds me a lot of little Novak,” Dijana continued. Tara is the second grandchild to her and her husband, Srđan. They also have a three-year-old grandson, Stefan. “He is a bright and a smart kid. He can speak Serbian and English. He impresses me when he says, ‘Grandma, let’s sit down to catch up with the two of us,'” Djiana said in an interview with Blic.
3. She is Depicted as The Virgin Mary In a Mosaic in Serbia
Jovan Kentera, a Montenegrin artist from St. Stephen, manufactured a mosaic of Dijana, who according to him, is the “person most responsible for the success of Novak.” Also included in the mosaic is St. Nicholas, St. Basil of Ostrog, Mary Magdalene, and St. Petka.
“Diana is the mother of the new era, and one of the most important Serbians. She has created and raised such a man, who is the pride of all of us, but also of people in the world. Dijana is a saint,” said Kentera.
This mosaic of Dijana can be viewed at the Belgrade exhibition, home to the finest collection of museums in Serbia.
4. Djana Has Two Younger Sons, Marko And Djordje
Like Novak, Marko and Djorde are also professional tennis players. Alongside the restaurant business, Djana and Srđan had a company called Family Sports where their three sons learned to play tennis.
Novak and his brothers are closer now than before. Back in 2015, Marko stopped playing tennis. Novak expressed that “the added extra pressure on them, and the expectations, were very difficult for them to handle.”
Novak was encouraged by his mother to participate in his brothers’ careers, but to focus most on family. “I figure if I constantly talk about tennis, trying to improve their game, give them advice, that would maybe jeopardize our private relationship and brother relationship, which is truly what I want to have with them,” he told tennis.com.
5. Dijana and Srđan Share The Belief That Novak is The “Greatest Tennis Player in History”
Dijana said her son’s victory in the Wimbledon final over Rafael Nadal back in 2011, was the start of a “new era.” She proudly proclaimed “Novak, Novak Novak!” in an interview with tennis.com. (Which Novak had something to say about.)
“Well, if my mother says that, then it’s like that,” Novak said. “My mother knows me better than anyone.” He went on to explain that because of that support, he’s lost all fear. “I believe in my abilities more than ever.”