“Where did this clown come from?”
This is the question that Bob Simon poses in his 60 minutes interview with Novak Djokovic, and it’s one many tennis fans thought they knew. As 60 minutes points out, any serious tennis fan has had Djokovic on their radar since his 2007 antics at the US Open in which he adeptly imitated Maria Sharapova and Rafa Nadal. As I wrote in my 2011 season review, even if you aren’t a fervent tennis fan you probably heard about Djokovic’s epic season. With this past Sunday’s 60 Minutes piece however, a national audience was given in inside look into where “this clown” really did come from, revealing his eye-opening past as well as his glamorous present.
- The scenes of Belgrade upon Djokovic’s return with the Wimbledon trophy in hand are absolutely ridiculous. Flares are going off, people are running next to his bus to give him champagne, and there are crowds and light shows that are usually only reserved for Bruce Springsteen concerts. When Djokovic comments that it felt like the whole city was there, Simon points out, uhhh that’s because they were.
- Djokovic tells how he and his family spent every night for two weeks in the basement of his Grandfather’s apartment in Belgrade because the bombing in the city was so intense. The fact that he tries to remember these days in a such a positive light (didn’t have to go to school and got to play tennis more) explains why he never gets rattled on the court and does everything with a smile.
- It is apparent that Djokovic is far and away the best public relations tool Serbia has ever had. Is his marketing influence as massive as Yao Ming’s (China) or even Jordan’s (US) for their respective countries and brands? Probably. These athletes however, didn’t represent and capture the hopes and dreams of a newly developing, recently war torn country. This sort of burden would weigh heavy on any individual, and he admits it. We’ll see in the coming years how Novak holds up.
- Underwear model. Movie star. Highflying daredevil. These are all titles that Djokovic assumes while he is not on the tennis court. His life is absurd.
- In the final scene of the segment Djokovic goes back to visit the coach that discovered him and coached him from when he was five and a half (The footage of him playing as a five year old is great no only because his strokes are amazing but also because his oversize neon windbreaker is boss). He brings his Wimbledon trophy and puts it front and center among his coaches rather impressive trophy collection. As he properly positions the trophy he exclaims “The one is here” referring to the trophy. People should probably just start saying this every time he walks in a room.