Two years ago Novak posted this loved-up shot of himself with wife Jelena to celebrate their anniversary – this year, neither of them marked the day on social mediaCredit: Instagram
Their fifth wedding anniversary on July 10 also went unmarked in public – a stark contrast to last year, when Jelena posted a doting anniversary message: “Love loving you my love.”
The previous year Novak publicly praised his wife, calling her his “soulmate” and saying she’d taught him why love is so important.
Novak put Jelena’s Wimbledon no-show down to their daughter, Tara, one, being too young to attend – their four-year-old son Stefan was with his parents in the players’ box for the final.
And his wife was quick to congratulate him on social media after his epic victory over Roger Federer, writing him a gushing post full of hearts and kisses.
But this isn’t the first time the 32 year-old tennis star’s marriage has come under scrutiny.
“Woods had the issues with his wife and then he seemed to go completely off the rails and has never been even close to being the same player,” John said.
“So we’re starting to say: ‘Wait a minute, is this possible with him, Djokovic?'”
Novak was surprised by the comments, but issued a gentlemanly response: “He has his right to say the things he wants to say. I don’t necessarily need to agree with that. But it’s his right.”
She’s spoken about how they made things work when they were young, admitting their romance felt like “mission impossible” when she worked with an oil company in Monte Carlo while he played professional tennis.
Eventually things got too hard and she jacked the job in to join Novak on tour – but rumours soon began to swirl around the couple.
The tennis star’s friendship with Serbian pop star Natasa Bekvalac was first questioned in 2011, with speculation continuing for five more years – especially when they were both seen in Ibiza on separate holidays over the same summer.
She has always denied any hint of an affair, but that hasn’t stopped rumours.
There was also speculation about a blonde lawyer from the Ukraine, named only as Victoria, whose Instagram feed showed that she followed him wherever in the world he played.
She was quick to shoot down rumours there was anything untoward going on between them though.
Things died down a bit around the time of Novak and Jelena’s wedding, which took place in July 2014 – just a couple of months after they confirmed they were having their first baby.
Stefan was born that October, with daughter Tara following in three years later.
Having young kids has kept Jelena busy, but it’s not all she does.
She is the director of the couple’s charity the Novak Djokovic Foundation, which aims to help children in Serbia realise their dreams by improving the country’s education system.
The couple still find time to go out though, with both documenting their personal lives on social media.
In fact, Novak was seen out in March 2016 with Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, known as Dippy. The pair were observed leaving The Nice Guy bar in Los Angeles together in a black chauffeur-driven car.
He later explained that Dippy was a friend of his wife, although Jelena was not there.
It didn’t help his case that Natasa Bekvalac waded in and, according to multiple reports, even suggested, “Novak would be happier dating Deepika Padukone.”
As these rumours swirled, Jelena seemed unfazed. Her Instagram feed of 470K followers at the time frequently showed happy pictures of the couple together sharing “#family time” – on holidays, at events, cuddling up to their then baby son.
The only post that eluded to her struggles was in January 2016 when she posted the Carrie Fisher quote with the hashtag #stopcyberbullying: “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
“I always try hard and give my best to understand the other side of the story before I judge… With the social media, it is quite hard to tune out all the voices.”
But it can’t have been fun to see the photos that Serena and Venus Williams’ beautiful chef, Lauren Von Der Pool, shared of her and Novak on her Instagram page, especially the one from 2012 when she had her arm draped around him at a party.
Another showed the chef staring up at the Wimbledon champion at the Miami Open in 2015 with the caption: “When world no 1 @djokernole is your fan lol! Not to be bragadoscious but I’m kinda a big deal.”
She’s also posted pictures of them pair partying in Australia – but has steadfastly denied anything romantic between them.
That said, trouble seemed to be brewing at the US Open in 2016, when Jelena appeared stony faced.
Footage of the couple bickering over a Facebook video released in February 2017 only reinforced the impression that relationship was strained – he chided her for the angle at which she shot the footage of him training, and she bitterly asked where his manners were, adding: “‘Thank you love, thank you.’ Isn’t that the way to say it?”
It was around this time that Novak’s on court performance suffered too.
He only made it to the quarter-finals at the French Open in 2017 and looked miserable and jittery thoughout.
“It was nothing physical,” he said, in the clearest explanation he ever offered for his wipeout. “It was some other things that I was going through privately.”
Then, of course, came the infamous McEnroe quotes – although Novak simply swept them aside, with Jelena not commenting at all.
Preferring to leave the speeches to her husband, Jelena instead uses social media to make her mark.
She appears to have been with her husband in the UK during the recent Wimbledon tournament, with photo of her kids tagged ‘Wimbledon’ and uploaded to Instagram earlier this month.
Queen ‘disappointed’ with Meghan Markle, Harry over christening move
Queen Elizabeth is reportedly ‘disappointed’ over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s move to christen Lilibet within the US and a former butler believes she’ll be heartbroken to miss such a special event.
Some former staffers even fear she’ll be utterly heartbroken if she is not able to participate in the grand event.
The Firm’s former royal butler Grant Harrold made this claim during his interview with Express.
There he speculated upon the possible plan of action Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may take regarding the christening, for the Queen, and claimed, “I am sure if this does not take place in the UK, the Queen will be disappointed to not attend the christening of her great-granddaughter.”
He also went on to add, “However, as with many families who have family overseas, sometimes it is not possible.”
“Maybe their christening will be recorded so the family in the UK can watch as well? Family is very important to the Queen and I am sure before too long she will meet her great-granddaughter.”
Oleksandr Usyk sends warning to Tyson Fury ahead of Anthony Joshua rematch
Oleksandr Usyk will put his newly won WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight belts on the line in his rematch with Anthony Joshua next year, but he’s already thinking about taking on Tyson Fury. The Ukrainian, 34, left British boxing fans stunned when he outclassed Joshua in London last month, scuppering hopes of a long awaited clash between Fury and ‘AJ’ in early 2022.
Joshua, 31, did promptly trigger his rematch clause however, before Fury came through his stunning trilogy bout with Deontay Wilder to retain his WBO and Ring Magazine titles.
Now Usyk, who after Evander Holyfied and David Haye is only the third fighter to win world titles at cruiserweight and heavyweight level, is plotting to again get past Joshua before targeting a lucrative unification fight with ‘The Gypsy King’.
Speaking to The Sun, he was asked if he could see a clash with Fury happening: “Yes, of course, I do regard this fight a huge one. I see him as a very good fighter, good athlete, he talks a lot, he has a tongue.
“He claims he’s the king of the kings, but it’s only he who thinks that. That’s what I can say about him.”
Usyk, who won Olympic Gold at heavyweight level in the London 2012 Olympics, now has a professional record of 19-0-0, but was second favourite to beat Joshua at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
He cites that factor as further reason as to why he can potentially overcome Fury.
“Before my Joshua fight everyone was saying that I haven’t got a single chance to win and beat Joshua,” he continued.
“I used to hear those types of things throughout my life, but I am capable of beating Fury because I’m not boasting that I can just punish and beat every boxer in the world, but I just go to the gym and do my job.”
Hughie Fury could fight Derek Chisora in huge domestic fight
Since beating Wilder in Las Vegas, Fury, 33, has declared himself the beat heavyweight of this generation, and Usyk appeared to take a dig at that claim by adding “I’m not trying to present myself as the king of the Universe.
“I do what I have to do. I concentrate and I’m focused and I get the result according to my effort.”
The Ukrainian did however, acknowledge that Fury’s unique boxing style made him successful and brought him victories, which he said was the “main thing.”
As for Fury’s next opponent, that remains unclear after Dillian Whyte was forced to postpone his bout with Otto Wallin because of a shoulder injury.
Fury’s next opponent is unclear
Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn takes dig at Tyson Fury
Whyte, 33, is the mandatory challenger to Fury’s WBO crown, and it was widely thought a win over Wallin on October 30 would pave the way for a world title shot for ‘The Body Snatcher’.
Whyte, who has long been embroiled in an online war of words with Fury, said this week: “I am devastated as I had a great camp, was in great shape, and had great sparring.
“I was looking forward to knocking Wallin out and would have done so in the first half of the fight.”
Tennis great’s message to Emma Raducanu amid coaching drama
British teenage tennis phenomenon Emma Raducanu has been urged to find some coaching stability after a tumultuous period in the wake of her historic US Open title.
Raducanu raised eyebrows after parting ways with coach Andrew Richardson after her US Open victory – in a move that surprised many tennis commentators.
Richardson coached the teenage star for two years at youth level and linked up with her again in July on a short-term deal for the duration of her time in the United States.
However, Raducanu said she was looking for a coach with more experience at the elite level of world tennis.
The 18-year-old parted ways with coach Nigel Sears after her breakthrough Wimbledon run to the last 16, where she eventually succumbed to breathing difficulties.
She then linked up with Richardson to claim an almost unthinkable maiden grand slam title at Flushing Meadows, before again deciding to move on to new pastures.
Raducanu’s partnership with Katie Boulter’s coach Jeremy Bates was always going to be a stop-gap situation for the Indian Wells tournament in which the Brit crashed out in her first match.
Pictured here, Emma Raducanu speaks to the media at the Indian Wells tournament.
Emma Raducanu’s search for a new coach has taken many in the tennis world by surprise. Pic: AAP
The World No.24 is now set to link up with Spaniard Esteban Carril – who previously worked with fellow Brit Johanna Konta, before being axed just weeks after she was named most improved player of 2016 and broke into the world’s top ten.
Raducanu in set to play in the Transylvania Open in her father’s native Romania, but Carril is not set to start his tenure with the Brit until after the tournament.
Carril will be Raducanu’s fourth different coach in four months and British tennis great Greg Rusedksi says the teenager needs to find some stability for her game to flourish.
“Esteban (Carril) did a great job with Jo Konta when she had her big breakthrough and got into the top 10 in the world,” he said.
“Hopefully this works out for Emma. But she needs consistency from a team point of view to push on with all the success she has had at the US Open.”
Former British tennis player Barry Cowan said despite enjoying success at Wimbledon and then the US Open, Raducanu simply cannot keep churning through the coaches.
Teen warned about chopping and changing
“She made the Last 16 of Wimbledon and the coach got fired. She won the US Open and the coach got fired,” Cowan said.
“You cannot keep running your career like that. It will eventually catch up with you.
“Certainly she needs to build up and strike a relationship with Esteban. I hope it is successful and lasts.
“I don’t care who you are, whether you are Emma Raducanu, Serena Williams or Novak Djokovic, if you are having coaches short-term, it’s going to come back to bite you.”