Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer share many things together, but fortunately, the Spaniard and the Swiss never went through the horrible experience Nole had during his childhood. Going through that kind of experience has contributed to toughen up Nole on the tennis court especially against the other Big3.
The world no.1 had an interesting and heartfelt interview with Graham Bensinger when he shared his terrible experience about the Serbian bombing at the hands of NATO that lasted 78 days back in 1999.
“In 1999, when we had the bombings, we lived in an apartment 500 feet from here. We would come to this building every single night of (the) bombing because our building did not have a shelter.”
It’s crazy when you think about the amount of people that would come here and hide. It’s definitely the same as it was 20 years ago. The whole building, with 50 apartments, will be here. People would just hide in corners and try to find a safe space.
It all feels so different now. I don’t remember most of this, I was so small, feeling unsafe and disturbed emotionally. Unaware of what the next moment brings to me, my brothers, my family. It was a horrifying experience for everyone. Particularly for children. We did not understand what was happening.”
Birthday under the bombs
Novak shared a rather tough memory of his birthday that was interrupted by the bombs. He recalled:
“After a month, we just stopped reacting to it. I remember celebrating my 12th birthday party at the tennis club where I grew up and during the happy birthday song, there was a plane flying over.”
Bout his mother hitting the head and falling unconscious
Novak recalled another tough memory:
“It was the first or second night of bombing. We were just about to fall asleep, when a huge explosion happened. My mom stood up very quickly and hit her head, falling unconscious. We were crying because of the bombs because mom was not responding. Luckily my dad managed to help my mom get back to normal.
We collect our stuff and go out. It was so loud, we couldn’t hear each other. My dad was carrying my brothers, my mom was carrying other stuff and that’s when I slipped. When I looked towards the building, I saw the planes flying, dropping things and the ground shaking. That is one of the most traumatic images I saw in my childhood. It stays with me.”
Novak Djokovic’s ranking and performance in 2020
Now the world no.1, Novak played his last match on the 29th of February when he overcame Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 6-4 in the final in Dubai to win his 80th career title.
During this season Novak has a 18-0 win-loss record. Novak clinched 2 titles in 2020 at the Australian Open and in Dubai.
Rafael Nadal’s ranking and performance in 2020
Currently ranked no.2, Rafael played his last match on the 29th of February when he defeated Taylor Fritz 6-3 6-2 in the final in Acapulco to win his 85th career title.
At the moment, this season Nadal has a 13-3 win-loss record. The Spaniard has won 1 title in Acapulco.
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal played each other 55 times. The head to head is 29-26 for Djokovic. The last time that they locked horns, Novak Djokovic won 6-2 7-64 in the final in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney (ATP Cup) on the 12th of January 2020.
You can see them in action in the following highlights.
Roger Federer’s ranking and performance in 2020
Currently ranked no.4, Roger played his last match on the 30th of January when he surrendered to Novak Djokovic 7-61 6-4 6-3 in the semifinal of the Australian Open.
Roger Federer’s best result of this year was getting to the semi-finals at the Australian Open.