All About Novak Djokovic's Parents, Dijana and Srdjan Djokovic

Meet Novak Djokovic's parents

Published Time: 10.07.2024 - 20:31:09 Modified Time: 10.07.2024 - 20:31:09

Meet Novak Djokovic's parents.

The pro tennis superstar was born to Dijana and Srdjan Djokovic on May 22, 1987, who are of Croatian and Serbian descent, respectively.

With 24 Grand Slam titles to his name — the most in men's history — and the only men's singles player in the Open Era to win every major three or more times, it may be surprising to learn he comes from a family with zero tennis background.

Though his athletic parents favored ski slopes over the courts, they recognized his born talent and did everything they could to support his dreams.

It wasn't easy, however. "My upbringing was probably different than most of the other players from my generation," Djokovic said in a press conference after winning his third French Open title. "Going back to the 1990s when I was four, five years old, and we had couple of wars."

"Serbia had embargo," he explained of his upbringing prior to moving to Niki Pilic's academy in Munich, Germany in 1999. "I couldn't travel for quite a few junior tournaments. So there was a lot of adversity and it was a very challenging time for everyone in my country."

Over the years, Djokovic has credited his parents for their dedication and commitment to his tennis pursuits throughout his childhood. He has also recognized the sacrifices they made, despite his family being "on a very low budget."

"He and my mum had to go through a lot of difficulties, financially, emotionally, whichever way, for me to sit here," Djokovic added at the press conference. "So I don't forget about that. I actually carry it in my heart."

Read on to learn more about Novak Djokovic's parents, Dijana and Srdjan Djokovic.

Djokovic's father, Srdjan, is a former professional skier and ski coach from Serbia. He spent most of his time at the country's leading ski resort and hot-spot tourist destination, Kopaonik, located south of the capital, Belgrade.

While Djokovic opted to pursue tennis, he still has a love for the snow sport. "I was born on the snow with skis. When I was a baby, he skied with me on his back," the tennis player previously told ESPN.

"Even today, as a professional tennis player, my biggest passion and my most-loved sport is skiing," he continued. "But it was my destiny to start playing tennis."

Upon moving to Belgrade in his late teen years, Srdjan spent his winters in the snow on the mountain. He met his wife, Dijana, at the Kopaonik ski resort.

"We moved to Belgrade when I was 19. We lived there until 25. That was when I met my wife, Dijana," Srdjan told Newsweek in a March 2016 interview. "A year after that, Novak was born."

Despite not playing tennis himself, Srdjan picked up work building tennis courts and hotels. Djokovic, naturally, was introduced to the sport at a young age.

"He was 3 years old... Novak would hang out with the workers, bringing them food and drinks. He developed this connection to the courts," the tennis champ's dad told the outlet. "I saw the love in his eyes when he looked at the tennis courts."

Srdjan recognized the passion in his son's eyes and bought him a small racket with a soft foam ball. -

"It immediately became the most beloved toy in his life. He would rather play with it than anything else," his father recalled.

Srdjan doubles as an athlete and an entrepreneur. He and his wife capitalized on the opportunities at the thriving ski resort in the Serbian mountains and started several small businesses when their kids were young.

They opened Red Bull pizzeria and a sports equipment shop in Kopaonik. Three tennis courts were built just across the parking lot from their restaurant in the late 1980s, which is where the tennis star got his start in the sport.

Although Srdjan and Djana were unfamiliar with tennis, they found mentors who would take their son under their wing. Jelena Gencic, a leading tennis coach and former pro player, was one of them.

"It was the first day of my first year in Kopaonik, and I was doing a tennis camp," Gencic told the New York Times of a young Djokovic. "And he was just standing outside the tennis courts and watching all morning, and I said: 'Hey, little boy, do you like it? Do you know what this is?'"

Djokovic told the outlet: "Pretty much what I know on court, I owe to her."

Djokovic previously opened up about his mom, praising her for being his rock over the years. "My mom was and still is the pillar of the family, she has that stability and holds everyone together," he said.

The tennis player described Dijana as "an incredibly strong" and "an inspiring woman," especially amid raising three young men "in a very small apartment with all our different needs and activities."

He added, "She did everything one woman could possibly do... she's a superwoman, literally."

Djokovic's successful career is extra significant knowing his background and the journey it took for him to get where he is today.

"My family was on a very low budget," the tennis star said during a press conference after winning his third French Open in June 2023. "But my parents still decided to support me in my dream, which was to become a professional tennis player and hopefully win Wimbledon and be number one in the world."

After winning his 24th Grand Slam singles title at the 2023 US Open, Djokovic thanked his parents for their sacrifices and support.

"This is your trophy as much as this is mine. This is your success as much as this is mine. I love you," he said to his mom and dad. "I never imagined I would be here talking about 24 Slams, but the last couple of years I realized I had a shot at history and why not grab it if it's presented."

In addition to Djokovic, Srdjan and Dijana are the parents of two other children. They welcomed two sons, Marko and Djordje, after the tennis star was born.

Marko and Djordje are both tennis players in their own right. Though, growing up, their parents' main focus was on Djokovic's career.

"We were living his life. All of us," Djordje said on the In Depth with Graham Bensinger Podcast in May 2020 of prioritizing their eldest son in the sport. "Marko and Djordje understand that we gave all to Novak and they are very proud because they are brothers."

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