Djokovic was born to parents Srdjan and Diana in the city of Belgrade, which was then part of Yugoslavia but now is the capital of Serbia. Novak has two younger brothers, Marko and Djorde, who also play tennis with aims to become professional.
The 1990s were a turbulent decade in the Balkans and Serbs were given a bad reputation throughout Europe and the world. Djokovic’s aspiration was not only to become a great tennis player but to be a positive representative of his country on an international level. He stated that: “The war also made me a better tennis player because I swore to myself that I’d prove to the world that there are good Serbs too.”
Djokovic began playing tennis at the age of 4 and early on showed great promise in the sport. At the age of six he was discovered by Jelena Gencic, a highly successful Serbian tennis player, who became his coach for the next six years.
Gencic was impressed by the young player’s natural talent and hardworking nature and realized it would be in Djokovic’s best interest to move abroad to train. At the age of 12 Djokovic moved to Oberschleissheim, Germany to continue his training at the Pilic Tennis Academy with Nikola Pilic where he remained for four years.