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"For me Novak Djokovic is No. 1 in every aspect of being a tennis player" - Olga Danilovic

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic
FEATURED COLUMNIST

In addition to being a 20-time Grand Slam champion and a contender for the GOAT title, Novak Djokovic is also known for his generosity and supportive nature off the court.

One player who has benefitted from the Serb's support is 20-year-old Olga Danilovic, currently ranked 149th in the world in singles. Danilovic broke into the top 100 in October 2018 and has since remained inside the top 200 for the majority of her career.

Olga Danilovic at the 2017 US Open
Olga Danilovic at the 2017 US Open

Being the No. 2 ranked women's player in Serbia, Danilovic was invited by Djokovic to take part in the Adria Tour event last year.

Djokovic also asked her to train at the Novak Tennis Center, the academy he recently set up in Belgrade, and also cheered her on at the Australian Open in January.

In a recent interview with Tennis.com, Danilovic revealed her admiration for Djokovic's nature on and off the court.

"He’s No. 1 for me in every part of being a tennis player,” Danilovic said. “When you talk to him you think, ‘OK, now I’m going to beat everyone after talking to him.’ His energy and dedication and his passion to play and work is something that pushes you to be better.”

Novak Djokovic to open Tokyo campaign against Bolivia's Hugo Dellien

Novak Djokovic serves during the practice session ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo, Japan
Novak Djokovic serves during the practice session ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo, Japan

While Danilovic is competing in the WTA 250 event in Palermo this week, Djokovic is stepping up his preparations for the Tokyo Olympics. The 2008 Olympic singles bronze medalist is aiming to keep his Golden Slam hopes alive by winning the singles gold in Tokyo.

Djokovic has already won the first three Grand Slams of the season and could become only the second player in tennis history (and the first man) to win all four Majors and the Olympic singles gold in the same year.

The World No. 1 will begin his Tokyo campaign against Bolivia's Hugo Dellien. The Serb could face talented young Italian Lorenzo Musetti in the third round and fifth seed Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals.

Fourth seed Alexander Zverev is Djokovic's projected semi-final opponent, while either Daniil Medvedev or Stefanos Tsitsipas could lie in wait for the Serb in the final.

Edited by Arvind Sriram
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