Novak Djokovic beat Matteo Berrettini in the final of Wimbledon 2021 to lift his sixth title at the All England Club. With this, he also bagged his 20th Grand Slam title, and drew level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Djokovic dropped just a couple of sets throughout the fortnight in Wimbledon and on the big day, produced a masterclass to win the final 6-7,6-4,6-4,6-3 on Centre Court.
The Serbian’s journey to these dizzying heights is rather fascinating. Djokovic started playing tennis at the age of 4 after which his parents started sending him to a camp based in Novi. When he was six, he was spotted by Jelena Gencic, a women’s player, at a tennis camp in Belgrade. As per reports, Gencic had said that she had not seen a better talent since the legendary Monica Seles.
Post this encounter, Gencic took Novak under her wings and coached him for the next six years. When Novak was 12, she realised that he needed a professional coach and she connected with Nikola Pilic. Djokovic resumed his training in Germany at the Pilic academy and he started taking part in professional tournaments from the age of 14.
Djokovic reached the final of Davis Cup in 2001. He then reached the semi-final of the 2004 Australian Open. He made his professional appearance in 2003, but tasted his first Grand Slam success in 2008 when he clinched his maiden Australian Open title. He has since gone on to win nine Australian Open titles.
With the Wimbledon win, Novak has 20 Grand Slam titles under his belt, but he has not been able to bag an Olympic gold just yet. He had to be content with a silver medal back at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. If he manages to win the US Open as well as a gold at the Tokyo Olympics, he will become the first male tennis player to bag a golden slam. Steffi Graf has already achieved this feat back in 1988.