Serbian superstar and fifteen time Grand slam winner Novak Djokovic has been on fire since returning from serious injury and surgery in 2017 culminating in him beating F1 2018 champion driver Lewis Hamilton and French World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe to the Laureus “Sportsman of the Year” award at a glittering event in Monaco, in the presence of HRH Prince Albert II of Monaco.
It was Djokovic’s comeback from an injury ravaged 2017 season to win two grand slams which earned him the award.
In his acceptance speech he confessed how close he was to throwing in the towel on a spectacular career and thanked his wife Jelena profusely for helping him through his darkest moments.
“I would like to thank my wife for taking time and for presenting me in a different light”
“I think that the rare occasions we can share our personal journeys and who we are behind the curtain and I think you’ve done it much better than I would do it,” he added.
Djokovic had won 11 of 24 grand slams between 2011 and 2016, including holding all four Grand slam titles simultaneously a historic feat the media dubbed the “Nole slam” from Wimbledon in 2015 to the French Open in 2016.
The elbow injury saw him miss the end of the 2017 season and it took some time for him to get back to form after undergoing surgery in January 2018 following a five set quarter final defeat by South Korean Cheung Hyeon in the Australian Open.
In 2018 he reunited with former coach Martin Vajda at the Monte Carlo Masters and went on to win Wimbledon as #12 seed defeating Rafa Nadal 10–8 in the fifth set in a 5-hour, 17-minute semi final spread over two days, the second-longest semifinal in Wimbledon history.
He then claimed his fourth Wimbledon title and 13th major title overall by defeating Kevin Anderson in straight sets in the final and followed up by defeating Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets to win his third US Open title and second Grand Slam title of 2018.
He started 2019 where he left off in 2018 beating 2nd seed Rafa Nadal in straight sets in the final to win his 15th Grand Slam and a record 7th Australian Open.