“I perceived a feeling of insecurity, of helplessness. It is difficult to deal with these situations because we, as human beings, are at ease when we have everything under control in the environment in which we live. I heard the bombs every day.
Obviously, my family and I were very afraid. We organized ourselves and then we ran into the shelters where my other family members were, about 400 meters away from our building. For a couple of weeks, we ran to the shelters around 2am.
We woke up, packed our bags, cried and then ran away. It was dramatic, as the darkness increases the worry out of all proportion" Through these words, released in 2017 to Lewis Howes, Novak Djokovic recalled some of the moments that marked his childhood.
It was 1999 when Operation Allied Force, the air strike campaign carried out by NATO for over two months against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, put Serbia under siege. The Belgrade grew up in an extremely complicated situation; a situation that has certainly forged his character.
Srdjan Djokovic, Novak's father, spoke about the period in which they were forced to flee from one building to another to save their lives. “I am one of the few to have a positive score against Novak. He first beat me when he was 11, I couldn't win a game anymore.
Bombings? I was always agitated. I was almost without money; it was a terribly difficult time. Novak grew up during the time of the bombings, salaries were worth two or three marks. I will never forgive them for the bombing," said Srdjan Djokovic.
Tiley opens up on Djokovic
Recently, Australian Open director and CEO of Tennis Australia, Craig Tiley spoke about Novak Djokovic’s stance about the issue. He sided with the Serb and felt that things have been unfair for him.
Tiley spoke on this subject and stated, “In many ways, it’s been a bit unfair on Novak. He’s said his medical information is private and confidential. He’s won [the Australian Open] nine times, which is really remarkable.
Of his 20 grand slam titles, nearly half [were] here. Because of that journey [I have] spent a lot of time with him”. The 59-year-old further added, “I completely understand where he’s coming from, relative to his medical position is a personal one and he’s got every right to keep that personal.
He’ll disclose, shortly, that position”. Coming to his 2021 season, Djokovic won three out of four Grand Slam events this season, including a record-extending 9th Australian Open title.