Novak Djokovic has enjoyed a stellar career which includes 23 Grand Slam titles.
He has become arguably the greatest tennis player of all time and he has a chance to win a 24th major at the ongoing US Open. Many things have contributed to his success, but none more so than his family and, in particular, his wife Jelena.
Djokovic married his high school girlfriend in July 2014 and the couple have two children together – eight-year-old Stefan and six-year-old Tara. But despite her helping the Serbian to perform at the highest level, the couple previously opened up on the trials and tribulations they’ve encountered with their marriage being in the public eye.
In a previous on-court interview, Djokovic referred to himself as a “wolf”, and explained the phrase means that being in a relationship with him can be challenging. “It can be very stressful to run with the wolf. I know that she doesn’t enjoy it at all times. It’s kind of living on the edge with the wolf,” he said.
The 36-year-old said he “carries” wolf traits within him, something his wife struggles with at times, but claimed it is ‘useful energy’. “That dynamic energy sometimes turns into a roar or an outburst.,” he said.
Jelena has also shared her thoughts on being married to one of the best and most recognisable sportspeople on the planet. She revealed that losing her privacy and becoming well-known on the sports circuit does have its challenges.
“We look at public figures and think that kind of publicity is okay,” the 37-year-old said. “But as time goes on, you lack anonymity, you lack the privacy to be able to do whatever you like at any time, in any situation. I try to resist all these expectations to always be myself and for Novak to be able to be himself.”
Djokovic will be hoping to bring more of his wolf-like energy to the fourth round of the US Open after he was taken to five sets by compatriot Laslo Djere in round three. The younger Serbian led the second seed by two sets at the Arthur Ashe Stadium and was playing some of the best tennis of his life.
But as he has done multiple times in the past, Djokovic dug deep and completed a sensational comeback to defeat his countryman 4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 after three hours and 45 minutes. This is the eighth time the tennis legend has recovered from a two-set deficit to win a match and it set up a meeting with Coratia’s Borna Gojo in the last 16.
“Unbelievable. It’s almost 2 a.m., a large number of people stayed,” Djokovic said when addressing the crowd in his on-court interview. “I hope [the fans] enjoyed the show, it was definitely not so enjoyable for me, especially in the first two sets.
“It was one of the toughest matches I’ve played here in many years. Huge, huge credit to Laslo for playing some of the best tennis that I’ve ever seen him play.” Alluding to his previous comebacks, Djokovic explained how he was able to complete the turnaround despite the high level from his opponent.
“I did a little pep talk in the mirror. I kind of laughed at myself because I was so pissed off and annoyed with the result,” he said when asked about leaving the court after losing the first two sets. “I had to force myself to lift myself up, lift the spirits up a little bit. I’ve done it a few times before in my career, it worked. A few times it didn’t work, but tonight it did and I’m grateful.”