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Biofile Novak Djokovic Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: ATP World No 1 ranked player, winner of 20 Grand Slam titles and 38 Masters Series titles. Also finished as year end world no. 1 for seven years, an all time tennis record.
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 176
DOB: May 22 1987 In: Belgrade, Serbia
(Note: This interview with an eighteen year old Djokovic was done at the US Open in 2005 after his first round five set duel with Gael Monfils)
Tennis Heroes: “Well, Pete Sampras, he was always my idol. I always liked his game even if I don’t have the same game as he does. I liked his attitude and the way he played. The way he act on the court I like a lot. He was concentrated a lot during all the matches. And he was playing the best tennis on the very important points, during the very important matches. That’s what I liked about Pete Sampras. That’s why he was always my idol. He finished his tennis career – I’m really sorry that I didn’t have a chance to meet him and to play with him. But I hope in the next two years I will have a chance to meet him. And since he finished the tennis, I like a lot Federer’s game and Safin. Safin actually played, not same, but similar game to mine – very aggressive and using all the opportunities. I had the chance to play against Safin in Australian Open and it was a great moment and a great experience, my first appearance on the big center court.”
Tennis Inspirations: “A win. The feeling of winning a match or winning a tournament. The feeling of winning a tennis match is irreplaceable.”
Favorite Movies: “Yeah, I’m a movie watcher. I like all kinds of movies, action and thrillers, drama and horror. The favorite one – maybe Pulp Fiction is one of the best.”
Musical Tastes: “I’m a music fan also like everybody. For me, it is also important the company you have. When you are going out, company that’s around you, then you don’t really pay attention to music so much. I like R&B, house music, I don’t like actually Serbian music, our music, so I’m not a big fan of this. So I’m listening to American, R&B, hip-hop, reggae, house. I like all kinds. Also classical sometimes when I need to relax.”


Favorite Meal: “As a tennis player I have to eat a lot because I expend a lot of energy. Mostly during the day I’m eating pasta. So this is one of my favorite meals. But I also like a lot of chicken with mashed potatoes, and some salad. That’s like my favorite [laughs].”
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Well, I like a lot of chocolate. I have to admit that. I like sweets a lot. So I like chocolate ice cream.”
First Tennis Memory: “Yeah sure, I remember I started when I was four. My father owns a restaurant in one mountain in our country. And when I was four they were making three tennis courts in front of my restaurant. And I was helping them to make these courts. And I was interested a lot because no one in my family ever played tennis. My father was a professional skier. My mother was also skiing. And he also played soccer and wallyball, a lot of different sports, but not tennis. So I was the first to start playing tennis when I was four. The first coach, Jelena Gencic, she teach me how to play tennis and how to act on the court. She teach me a lot. This was very important to have a good coach in the period when I was seven years old to eleven. And I was really lucky to have her.”
Pre-Match Feeling: “Well, I try not to think too much because I want to be focused for the match. Before the match I do the usual warmup, stretching. I need 30-45 minutes to prepare all my racquets and everything. I’m thinking…mostly I’m speaking with my coach about what tactics we should prepare for this player. Think tactics, strategy, how I should act on the court, what should I use more. These kinds of things. I try not to think too much. I just go out on the court and do my best.”
Greatest Sports Moment: “I have a few moments that I like. At Wimbledon when I reached the third round in 2005 was really great. In second round I saved five match points from 0-2, I came to 3-2 to win. This was a great moment. And this was really important match for me. Because when I won the match I got to top 100. So this was really nice feeling. And also the fact that I played the first time on the grass. So that’s really nice, I like Wimbledon a lot.”
Most Painful Moment: “Well, I cannot say that I really had a painful tennis moment that I wanted to quit tennis or something like that. I hope that I will not have. Probably being injured or not feeling 100% healthy. But I never had any really like painful moments.”
Favorite Tournaments: “I like Australia and Wimbledon a lot. I like the grand slams.”
Funny Tennis Memory: “I like to watch McEnroe playing. He was really funny on the court. And Safin, when he would throw the racquet when he was really nervous. And it was really fun watching Yannick Noah. I like watching the old matches when I was really a baby. And McEnroe was really funny.”
Embarrassing Tennis Memory: “Well, when I lost to one guy from Serbia actually. It was about seven or eight years ago when I was first in Europe. I lost to this guy and it was really embarrassing because everybody expected me to win easily, so.”
Closest Tennis Friends: “I’m really in good relationship with everybody. So I’m trying to keep it that way. I’m really good friends with Janko Tipsarevic and the players from my country.”
Funniest Players Encountered: “I don’t know. Everybody is funny. I don’t put out one.”
Toughest Competitors Encountered: “Well, all the players are tough to play against, everybody is trying their best to win the match.”
People Qualities Most Admired: “Just I like people who have a lot of sense of humor. And who are very honest. I like nice people, like really honest person, who can be good friends of yours. It’s really difficult because every where you go you meet a lot of people and it’s difficult to find your friend. Like real honest friends.”

“Facing Novak Djokovic” is Scoop Malinowski’s 17th book, and it’s available at amazon for $9.99

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