“He Was in My Ear the Whole Time”: Novak Djokovic Reveals Why He Gave His Racquet to the Little Boy at French Open 2021 Finals

Published 06/14/2021, 5:14 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 13, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning the final against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Benoit Tessier


Novak Djokovic just won his 19th Grand Slam title and second French Open title. It was another day marked with a comeback from the Serbian legend. He is now one Grand Slam title behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, in the list of male players with the most Grand Slam titles. However, the highlight of the final at Roland Garros was when Djokovic stole the show when he gave his racquet to a young boy in the crowd. The boy certainly had an emotional moment after seeing his idol winning the tournament and then being handed his racquet later.

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The young fan had coaching advice for Novak Djokovic

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Due to the current pandemic, spectators are still not allowed to fill up a stadium to its full capacity. Even with a small number of fans in the stadium, the players could still feel the cheers and roars. The young boy was not only cheering for his idol but also guiding him during his sets. Djokovic said, “I didn’t know him but I had him in my ears during all the first sets. He was coaching me literally, more than encouraging. This was my gratitude for him.” 

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Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 13, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after winning the French Open against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

An emotional moment for the young fan

It is always an emotional moment for fans when players engage with them. The boy was in tears when he received the racquet from his idol. The racquet that Djokovic played with holds a certain rank in history books considering he won his 19th Grand Slam with it.

A day Novak Djokovic will never forget

It was an outstanding display of grit, determination, and professionalism from Novak Djokovic at the final at Roland Garros. He came back from two sets down against Greek international, Stefanos Tsitsipas, to win the title. He won the match 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. The world number one became the first player in the open era to win all four Grand Slam titles twice.

Djokovic credited a part of his win to the young boy cheering for him from the stands. “He was like, ‘Hold your serve, get an easy first ball, then dictate, go to his backhand.’ He was coaching me literally. I found that very cute, very nice. So I felt like to give the racquet to the best person was him after the match. That was kind of my gratitude for him sticking with me and supporting me,” said Djokovic.

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The World No. 1 is known for his jovial nature and wit, and this sweet gesture from Djokovic’s side will be remembered by the little boy for a long time.

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Suchit Halder

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