Cult of Personality

5

January 31, 2013 by Parveer Mann

Novak embracing his fourth Australian Open title. Image courtesy of Getty Images.

Novak embracing his fourth Australian Open title. Image courtesy of Getty Images.

He has faded under pressure early in his career. He has had a flare for comic hijinks. He was nearly unstoppable in 2011. He has emerged under the shadow of two of the most transcedent stars of any generation to become a legend in his own right. You would not be wrong to suggest that Novak Djokovic has become the model of what a tennis player should be.

In defeating Andy Murray to capture his third consecutive Australian Open title, Novak Djokovic has continued to earn the respect of fans and players alike. Known early in his career for untimely collapses and comedy, he has become the unflappable model citizen in the men’s game. He now seems to grow stronger in the face of adversity or match points as seen in his famous duels with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. During this Australian Open, Djokovic overcame a tough fourth round challenge against Stanislas Wawrinka and seemed stronger for it the rest of the tournament.

Rivalry and Respect among Djokovic, Murray and Federer.

Rivalry and Respect among Djokovic, Murray and Federer.

The change for Novak gradually began as he started to make slight changes to an already successful career. He famously adopted a gluten-free diet, became more fit and worked on becoming the best returner in the game. Along with maturation and mental resiliency, he has won five Grand Slam titles since 2011 and is the current World number one.

He is a huge celebrity and icon in his native Serbia and with over 1.5 million Twitter followers his appeal crosses the planet. Fellow players on tour have noticed this transformation and his influence in the game has grown exponentially. Once known for impersonations and raw talent, Djokovic is now a great champion who has earned his cult of personality.

Djokovic returns to Serbia after winning 2011 WImbledon title.

Djokovic returns to Serbia after winning 2011 WImbledon title.

Bonus Video:

We say farewell to the 2013 Australian Open and Melbourne but alas the 2013 tennis journey continues. I leave you with highlights of the 2013 Australian Open courtesy of the official Australian Open Youtube channel.

Feel free to share your thoughts and favourite moments from this year’s Australian Open in the comments section below.

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5 thoughts on “Cult of Personality

  1. Cole Phelps says:

    I think the things I’ll remember the most from the Australian Open both come from Sloane Stephens matches. The first being her win over Serena Williams, she showed that she could be a potential threat to go deep at any tournament this year even if that win was over an injured Williams. The other event I’ll remember is Azarenka taking the medical timeout when playing against Stephens in the Semi-Finals and subsequently led to her already frosty relationship with tennis crowds to grow even more tense.

  2. I’m ‘thisclose’ to getting on a gluten-free diet. Seriously, give me a Tennis Magazine, I’m going to send them here. Fabulous writing!

    • parveermann says:

      That’s a big step going gluten-free, I can see the positives and negatives. I’d be interested to see how it goes if you do. As always, you are too kind in your comments

      • Always a pleasure Parveer :). I think I need something a little hard core. I would however still taste test my baking, as I couldn’t bare giving someone, something I haven’t tasted myself. But it will be a nice change, at least we’ll see how long I can last.

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