Wimbledon: Beauty of Scotland helps Novak Djokovic get over Open pain
NOVAK Djokovic has revealed he put the “Jock” in Djokovoic on a restorative trip to Scotland as he prepares to defend his Wimbledon title, a quest the Serbian begins today on Centre Court against Juan Carlos Ferrero.
The world No 1’s Scottish soujourn helped him overcome the disappointment of missing out on holding all four grand slam titles at once, by losing to Rafael Nadal in a rain-disrupted final at Roland Garros earlier this month. Djokovic revealed that he and his girlfriend, Jelena, flew in for a mini-break in Scotland, and even made a piligrimage of sorts to the area where Andy Murray, his friend and rival, grew up.
VisitScotland need look no further than Djokovic when recruiting top stars willing to advertise Scotland’s charms. The Serbian gladly offered his opinion on Murray’s homeland after taking Jelena on a surprise birthday trip to Gleneagles Hotel, soon after his defeat in Paris.
“I went to Scotland when I played the Davis Cup in Glasgow [in 2006], but back then I didn’t have the chance to see how beautiful the country is, really,” he explained. “The countryside is quite remarkable. We went to visit the William Wallace monument and we saw the historic culture. We really liked it, although it rained for the two days, which was expected in a way. But I’ll definitely be back.”
Djokovic even tipped his hat to Murray on the trip, stopping off near Dunblane for a photo opportunity. “I made a little picture for him,” he said.
“We were on the A80, I think, and there was a right turn just before Stirling Castle for Dunblane. So I made a picture and sent him a picture on BBM [Blackberry messenger] and he replied: What are you doing there? I told him: ‘Mate, this hasn’t been Photoshopped. I’m really here’!”
It is no secret that Djokovic and Murray are firm friends. Born within weeks of each other in May 1987, the pair first met on the junior circuit and have been compadres ever since, although Djokovic has sped ahead of Murray when it comes to winning Grand Slam tournaments. However, Djokovic was able to re-assure fans of the Scot on that front.
“The driver who picked us up at the airport, the people who were in the hotel, everybody we met was mentioning Andy,” said Djokovic. “It’s normal because he comes from there. He comes from very close to where we were. They are proud of him and obviously the question they were asking the most – and I think as will you guys – is when is he going to win a grand slam?”
And what did he say? “I said very soon because I really believe that,” answered Djokovic.