To change my mood, a couple of articles that I found from the old news thread
From 2007: Ascent of Novak Djokovic has only just begun
"Let me tell you a story I haven't told anyone else," said Srdjan Djokovic, speaking in Serbian, as his wife translated.
As a youngster, Novak spent a lot of time with his paternal grandmother, who suffered from bone cancer. "One day he was sitting in the living room and he asked her, 'Grandma, where is your pain?'" Srjdan Djokovic said. "She showed him a point on her back, and he was making a massage for hours. He was maybe 6 years old.
"She lived for two more years because of him. She couldn't walk 20 meters, but with him, she was walking all over the place, picking flowers.
Djokovic has matured a great deal over the last year, and he just turned 20.
Srjdan added: "He cares for everybody. You have to know him to see some things."
Vajda said Djokovic makes a round of calls to relatives after every match. "If he wants to relax, he goes to his family," the coach said. When his mother tried to keep a recent health scare from Djokovic, he guessed something was amiss from thousands of miles away.
"Family, for him, is the most important part of his life," his mother said. "He gets energy from us when he's tired."
From 2004: Novak News!!
I might be the only person that finds this 'old news' interesting, but here it is. Novak was steveg's Player Profile of the week in May 2004. Novak had just won his first challenger (the second one he ever entered) from the qualifying...a day after his 17th birthday.
Most young players make their way through the juniors while gaining experience and working their way up the rankings. Others try to go directly to the pros. That appears to be the case with a 17-year-old from Serbia&Montenegro, Novak Djokovic
. Djokovic is only ranked 122 in the world in juniors and has played in only 4 juniors events in the past year. But looking closer, he has lost to only players like: Josselyn Ouanna, Gael Monfils, Robert Smeets, and Daniel Gimeno and reached the semifinals of the Australian Open this year. Instead, Djokovic has quickly risen up the ATP rankings and has been playing particularly well as of late. He started 2004 ranked #679 on only 3 events. His first three professional experiences came last year in Germany F1a and Germany F1b in January. In June he played in his home nation in Serbia F2. All three were first round losses as an unranked wild card. Then he finally got a win in Serbia F3. He got it by defeating fellow Serbian, Darko Madjarovski, in a tough three-setter. But it seemed to get a bit easier from there as he went on to win the whole event! A futures title in just his 4th event where he had won his first pro match. He followed that up with a semifinals appearance the next week in Serbia F4. He also reached the semifinals two weeks later in Serbia F6 and that's how he got to #679 in just 3 events (where he earned points). In 2004 he qualified for and reached the semifinals in Croatia F1 and later reached the quarterfinals in Italy F4. He also got his first Davis Cup experience in April, winning a dead rubber and helping Serbia&Montenegro sweep Latvia 5-0. Then a few weeks ago in Hungary F1, he took his second futures title. That got him 57 spots last week to #515. So he decided to stay in Hungary and play in the Budapest challenger last week. There he qualified and went right through the draw, dropping only one set and taking out both the #1 and #2 seeds on the way to his first challenger title, which he won on his 17th birthday. That shoots Djokovic up 177 spots this week to #338. In a very short time, Djokovic has risen into the top 400 and has 2 futures titles in just 12 events and a challenger title in the first challenger where he played in a main draw. At 17, Novak Djokovic seems a shooting star and is definitely one to watch.