NEWS… BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT
Novak Djokovic has come a long way since his first major appearance to now… in terms of appearance and titles, but it seems he’s not always had his mother’s approval surrounding his look.
The Serb is closing in on a calendar Grand Slam and his 21st triumph after seeing off American Jenson Brooksby in the last-16.
Djokovic first appeared on the scene in 2005 when he made his first Grand Slam tournament appearance by qualifying for the 2005 Australian Open.
He suffered defeat to eventual champion Marat Safin in the first round in straight sets but it seems he wanted to make sure fans remembered him.
After defeating Brooksby and taking a step closer to his 21st Grand Slam, Djokovic was asked by a journalist what he remembers most about that match and it seems a bold decision to dye his hair blonde is what sticks out most with his mother not a fan.
‘I do recall one of the most profound memories of Australian Open 2005 when I qualified and played Safin night session, the centre court, is that I was getting a haircut earlier that day,’ he said.
‘Wonderful lady, a hairdresser, asked me: “Do you want to do something special for tonight?”
‘I said: “What are you suggesting?”
‘She said: “Maybe we should colour your front part.”
‘I’ve never done that in my life. So I said: “You know what? Why not?”
‘I was 17, 18 years old. If I’m going to come out on the stage, I might as well do it with style.
‘It wasn’t really very satisfying for my mother to see that. The conversation we had after was not great for me. But we had a good laugh about it.’
Djokovic would have to wait another three years before getting his hands on his first Grand Slam with victory in the 2008 Australian Open.
Since then he’s broken record after record and victory in New York this week would put him one Grand Slam ahead of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer’s 20 honours.
‘That seems like ages ago, and it is. I mean, it’s been now 16 years since my first centre court Grand Slam match, first official main draw match. It’s been a while,’ Djokovic continued.
‘But what a great ride. I mean, it’s difficult to reflect on everything while you’re still, say, in the bus and you’re still riding. It’s kind of hard. People tend to ask me, How does it feel? Do you comprehend what you’ve done? Do you think about the whole journey?
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‘Of course, I do. But tennis is such a sport that really you have to turn the next page the next day. You’re done with this tournament. What’s the next one? What’s the next challenge? What’s the next goal you need to achieve? Where are you heading?
‘You don’t have much time really and energy to reflect on everything that you’ve been through. But I try to be grateful about it. Of course, I appreciate every single step in the journey.
‘One day, of course, when I don’t play professional tennis anymore, I probably will have a little bit of a larger perspective on things and understand what I’ve been through a little bit better.’
Djokovic will play Matteo Berrettini for a place in the US Open semi-finals.
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NEWS… BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT