Novak Djokovic’s mother Dijana has said that it was divine intervention and her son’s faith that helped him win last year’s Wimbledon title against Roger Federer, despite facing two championship points. She also said that she found the Swiss tennis a player a bit arrogant and unhappy with the biased crowd at the All England Club.
In an interview with Serbian publication Sport Blic, Dijana spoke about a number of things such as the start of Novak’s career, how he battled his health issues and the sacrifices he family made for the world No 1‘s tennis career.
But her views were on last year’s Wimbledon final, that Djokovic won after clinching the newly-introduced fifth-set tiebreak, has the potential to stir further animosity between the two tennis players and their sizeable fan bases.
Talking about the final in July last year, Dijana said it was one of the hardest matches for her. “In the match where everyone is cheering for Federer, a handful of us cheered for Novak. It’s not convenient to say whether Federer or someone else annoys me, but it annoys me because he’s a little arrogant,” she said, according to the translation of the Serbian text.
Djokovic has often spoken about how he tried to drown the crowd when they cheer for his opponent and pretends to hear cries of ‘Novak’ instead. However, the Serb’s relationship with crowds in matches against Federer has always been testy, as was evident in this year’s Australian Open semi-final as well, where he played the injured Swiss.
Dijana spoke about praying while Federer had two match points on serve at 8-7 in the fifth set.
“At the moment when Federer had two match points, I grabbed my cross from the river Don, which is my amulet that I wear all the time and that saves me in difficult moments. Then I said to myself, Nole, you can do it, you did it twice, you can do it a third time and you did it. He was saved by God himself,” she said.
“I always carry the cross and I am a believer. Novak is a great believer, he believes in God and I think he is chosen. He carries a cross from Hilandar and I think that brings him peace in himself and happiness. He does not have to go to church to pray, he has his prayers that he says in the morning, in the evening, whenever he feels the need. He was once with his father and brothers for three days on Hilandar. That helped him a lot and he has been going uphill ever since,” she added.
Djokovic had not only saved those two championship points, he broke Federer right back and took the tiebreak in what was one of the best Grand Slam final matches of all times. That epic final will also be the last Wimbledon match for over two years as this year’s tournament was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.