Before Novak Djokovic was the undisputed World No. 1, the tennis star was often lauded a highly intelligent comedian type. Djokovic liked to clown around a lot. Like all good mimics and comics, Djokovic has that first-rate intelligence, catching nuance and subtleties, that made his performances interesting. And also like all good performers -- and successful athletes, too -- Djokovic evolved. Or better put: is always evolving. Like the way he evolved from talented challenger to dominant force.
Talking recently about his unlikely early exit from Wimbledon this year, Djokovic told the The Telegraph that he had some personal issues that challenged him beyond tennis. "I am in a position, like everybody else, like all of you," he said, "we all have private issues and things that are more challenges than issues. More things that we have to encounter and overcome in order to evolve as a human being." Heavy stuff, obviously, for Djokovic on the personal front. And just two months ago. But Djokovic says "everything is fine now." A quick resolution, sort of like what usually happens when he drops a first set -- a swift turnaround. So the US Open can expect not just the already tough-to-beat Djokovic, but an evolved human being. Watch out.
His clowning days: