Novak Djokovic grandfather Vladimir Djokovic, one of the key figures in the growth of Novak's career passed away today morning.
Vladimir Djokovic was aged 83.
More details are awaited. Will post it as soon as any news is out.
French TV is currently reporting Novak Djokovic plans to play today vs Dolgopolov in Monte Carlo despite reported loss of grandfather. Will keep you posted.
Here are a few rare pics of Novak with his grandfather
Novak Introducing his deda (Serbian of GrandFather is deda) to his Girl Friend Jelena Ristic
Novak Djokovic showing his Wimbledon trophy to his Deda Valdimir Djokovic.
As reported on CBS news website, during the war days in Serbia in early 90s,
Djokovic's grandfather, parents, two younger brothers, aunts and uncles, all sought refuge during the blitz in his grandfather's apartment - a two-bedroom flat. The building had a basement. When the air raid sirens sounded, they retreated there -- it was as close as they could get to safety.
That’s where fate in the guise of his grandfather stepped in. A skiing instructor, Djokovic’s grandfather also owned a restaurant in a mountain resort. He built three tennis courts in front of the restaurant just in time for his 4-year-old grandson to come for a visit.
That and a good dose of avidly watching Pete Sampras on television, and Serbian’s first tennis superstar was born. Unfortunately the country was in the midst of war that didn’t allow for the facilities to stoke the talent. At age 12, Djokovic left the turmoil of Belgrade for the safer shores of Germany. “It was a very difficult decision for my parents,” he says. “But I had to do it. I love playing for my country, but I didn’t have much help from them. It was very hard to succeed.”
For most of the year Djokovic is constantly traveling on the tour, but he still considers himself very much a Serbian at
heart—with one home in Belgrade and the other in Monte Carlo.“When I’m not playing I just try to spend time with friends and family,” he says, “people I love and care about.”
Understandably Novak was in tears when he was told the news on the practice court.
From our entire team, wishing our heartfelt condolences to the entire Djokovic family.
May Vladimir rest in peace. God bless the Djokovic family.
Here's a video of Novak Djokovic in Tears as reported by a Serbian TV channel