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How Novak Djokovic's poster brought joy to an autism patient

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic
Modified 27 Aug 2020, 02:16 IST

17-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic is an inspiration to millions of people. The Belgrade-based player has fans all around the world, and one of them is Peter - who is suffering from autism, a developmental disorder that creates difficulties in social interactions.

Novak Djokovic means the world to Peter, and his grandfather surprised him with a smiling poster of the Serb. Peter's father Zoran Mijalkov recently shared the story of the gift on Twitter, and netizens have been showering it with love ever since.

Zoran's social media statement can be translated as follows:

"Grandpa brought Peter to him a while ago. The smile when he saw the surprise says it all. It is a struggle for every smile and word and usually my maximum is not enough. Thanks."

Novak Djokovic's poster doesn't mean anything to him materially, but it made him happy: Zoran Mijalkov

In an interview with Mondo, Peter's father Zoran spoke at length about his son's love for Novak Djokovic. He mentioned that it was Peter's dream to meet his favorite athlete one day.

"It doesn't mean anything to him materially, but this made him happy. It's not far, of course (meeting with Novak Djokovic)," said Zoran.
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

Zoran's second son Nikola also suffers from the same disorder as his elder brother. Mijalkov explained how his two sons became ardent fans of the 2016 French Open winner a few years ago.

"Like every older brother, Peter is his role model. Now Nikola also adores Novak, they follow all his matches. Earlier, they only wanted to watch Sponge Bob and that's how we learned that they react to Novak and that he makes them smile," he continued.

The two brothers saw Novak Djokovic for the first time by accident, on a tennis broadcasting channel. Considering their love for tennis, Zoran is now planning to take Nikola and Peter to an arena to watch some live tennis.

"We turned channels when was his match on Eurosport, when they once saw Novak on TV. It started by accident, now I'm already thinking about how to allow him to watch the match live from the stands," Zoran added.

Zoran mentioned that Peter cannot speak, but can understand others' energy and feelings. He used to regularly see a Novak Djokovic poster on a wall in the town square, but one day the owner decided to take the poster down. Seeing how heartbroken Peter was at that, his grandfather decided to gift him a poster of the 2020 Australian Open winner.

"Today, he got a poster. And he laughed sincerely," Zoran said.
Novak Djokovic has reached the quarterfinals of Cincinnati tournament
Novak Djokovic has reached the quarterfinals of Cincinnati tournament

Novak Djokovic is currently playing in the Cincinnati Masters tournament being held at New York. He has beaten Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarterfinals, and will face Roberto Bautista Agut in the semifinals on Thursday.

Published 27 Aug 2020, 02:16 IST
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