This week two-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic and Jelena Ristic will become man and wife. In their native Serbia the duo are as popular as Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, so the wedding will be closely followed by millions of fans.
Their romance began far more humbly when they met as teenagers in Belgrade. Jelena was by her own admission a “bit of a nerd”, with a dream of studying abroad, which meant keeping her grades high so she could earn scholarships.
Her beau wasn”t so much of a tennis addict that he failed to notice his attractive fellow student. However, from the age of six, he”d been working towards becoming a champion and had spent four years in Germany, between 12 and 16 with that goal in mind.
Following their hearts had to be balanced with remaining committed to their chosen career paths. When Jelena relocated to Milan to study management at a prestigious university they somehow stole time to be together.
It wasn”t easy: she was taking an assortment of odd jobs to finance her studies, while her boyfriend climbed the ATP rankings, without the wherewithal to jump on a plane whenever he felt like it.
Of that time, she says: “We devised these plans how to meet, how to make our relationship work.
“Novak even made it to one of my more important exams. He sat in the back row while I was in the front. He was unknown at the time.
“He always backed me up, just like I support him now on his tournaments”.
Now, of course they enjoy a million-dollar lifestyle and are expecting their first child. What has never changed is their love for each other and their passion for sharing their good fortune through their charitable work.
See ! magazine for more details.