What he said:
“And you know what, if that happens, I’ll be a minister!”
Bogdan Obradovic jokes that Novak Djokovic is so popular in Serbia that he could easily be President.
“There is a joke in Serbia. Actually, it’s not a joke. It’s a fact. Ask any man, woman or kid and they will tell you Novak must be the president. Even the president will say, ‘OK, I am ready to vacate my chair for Novak’.”
The non-playing captain of his country’s Davis Cup team is in Bangalore where India play them for a spot in the World Group.
It was in 2001 at the US Open that Obradovic predicted (to a Serbian reporter) that Djokovic would be World No. 1 someday and win the American title.
“I told him that we have one kid back home and he is going to be No. 1 and win the singles title at the US Open one day. That interview was broadcast on Serbian national television. Many people laughed at me. Today, they smile.
You know Novak was junior World No. 1 at 14. He won the European championships. Now you may wonder how a European champion can be called a world champion. Let me tell you. It’s a funny story. Actually, even Americans and Canadians and Australians used to play in the European championships. It’s funny, I know. So, to me, Novak was the No. 1 junior in the world.”
On Djokovic’s elasticity:
“The good thing was that he was naturally elastic. So we developed an exercise regimen and made sure we didn’t destroy that aspect of his body. Look, most tennis players are strong and powerful. But they are not agile. They don’t possess elastic energy. This is not American Football or rugby. In tennis, you need to have elastic energy. By using your elastic energy, you tend to spend less energy during matches. This helps you recover faster. No one knows your tank capacity; how much gasoline you have. I can tell you Novak spends less energy than any other player on the Tour. That’s why is so fit. That’s why he is No. 1.”
What he really meant:
“A minister ministers and that’s what I’ll do. After all, haven’t I been ministering to him for years?”
What he definitely didn’t:
“Machiavellian, ain’t I?”