Jelena Ristic - Biography

At her partner Novak Djokovic's matches, you will see Jelena Ristic cheer, shout, cry and sometimes go stone cold silent with nervousness. As his superfan, she knows just how hard the road to tennis glory has been from their humble origins in the war-torn Balkans.

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Novak Djokovic

May 22, 1987

Belgrade, Serbia


Horoscope : Cancer

Today, of course tennis' golden couple enjoy a multi-million dollar lifestyle, complete with A-list friends like Robert De Niro and Anna Wintour on speed dial.

Life wasn't always like that for the self-confessed nerd. Born in 1986 in Serbia, she spent her youth with her head in book, focused solely on getting the highest grades.

The pretty blonde says: "From the youngest age I contemplated going to university abroad.

"That entailed me being the very best student in elementary and high school, in order to win scholarships.

"My parents were in no position financially to fund (my) education in a foreign country".

She describes her parents as "two angels" who have "given me wings to soar" despite the economic and political turmoil. They supported her dream of university in Milan, where she studied luxury brand management.

Fortunately her relationship with Novak, whom she met in high school, blossomed despite his dedication to the tennis tour.

"Us getting together was like science fiction almost. I was a student barely getting by, and he was a very young tennis player who also had no money to spare on expensive trips," she says. "Airplanes were, at the time, something utterly out of our reach. We contrived and devised these plans how to meet, how to make our relationship work."

When she finished her studies they moved into together in Monte Carlo, where Jelena landed a job with an oil company.

A godsend at first, the job made their relationship a "mission impossible". "At certain point, Novak told me: 'Darling, we cannot go on like this'.

"I was confined to the office almost at all times. It wouldn't have been possible for our relationship to thrive if I had stayed there."

Now, Jelena travels with her number one guy on tour - a role she combines with running a charitable foundation in his name, persuading their rich friends to fund projects for vulnerable children.

In September 2013, Novak proposed and the following year the duo announced they were expecting their first child.
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