Novak Djokovic has had a great tennis career that has put him in the top group of all-time greats. With a win in the Australian Open final, the Serbian star will tie Rafael Nadal for second place all-time in Grand Slam singles titles with 21.
Djokovic, who is 35 years old, has won a record-setting 38 ATP Masters titles and 92 ATP singles titles, including the Grand Slams. Last year, Djokovic stirred up trouble in Australia when he was turned away because he wasn’t up to date on his shots. He was then sent home.
This time, it’s his father Srdjan’s actions at a pro-Russia protest that have almost overshadowed Novak’s achievements on the court. Novak’s wife Jelena has been a constant through all of this and much of his career. What little we do know about Jelena and Novak is detailed here.
Who is Jelena Djokovic? When Did She First Meet Novak?
Jelena Djokovic’s last name before she married Novak was Ristic, and they started dating in 2005. This was a few years before he won his first big tennis title in 2007 when he won the Miami Open and the Canadian Open.
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They first met when they were teenagers at a high school in Serbia. After dating for eight years, they got engaged in 2013. While Jelena was studying luxury brand management at Bocconi University in Milan and Novak was trying to make it on the ATP tour, their relationship got off to a rough start.
Despite this, they were still able to make it work. Speaking about those days, Hello! quoted Jelena as saying:
“Us getting together was like science fiction almost.”
“I was a student barely getting by, and he was a very young tennis player who also had no money to spare on expensive trips.”
“Airplanes were, at the time, something utterly out of our reach.”
“We contrived and devised these plans how to meet, how to make our relationship work.”
When Jelena was done with college, she and her boyfriend moved into a place together in Monte Carlo. Jelena got a temporary job at an oil company when she first moved in with Novak in Monte Carlo.
Since then, she has become a director of their charity, the Novak Djokovic Foundation, which works to help children in Serbia achieve their dreams by improving the country’s education system.