After Djokovic beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in five gripping sets on Sunday, the World No. 1 handed his racquet to a young boy in the stands, who erupted into a fit of disbelief. That moment has gone viral on social media.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) June 13, 2021
Djokovic, who said he did not know the boy, was nevertheless pleased to make his day. There was a reason the Serbian chose him.
“He was in my ear the entire match basically, especially when I was two-sets-to-love down,” Djokovic said. “He was encouraging me. He was actually giving me tactics, as well. He was like, ‘Hold your serve, get an easy first ball, then dictate, go to his backhand.’ He was coaching me, literally.”
It was not an easy match for Djokovic, who fell two sets down against Tsitsipas. But the Serbian became the sixth player in the Open Era to rally from a two-set deficit in a Grand Slam final. The boy’s words certainly did not hurt.
“I found that very cute, very nice. So I felt like to give the racquet to the best person was him after the match,” Djokovic said. “That was kind of my gratitude for him sticking with me and supporting me.”
Former World No. 1 John McEnroe, who was commentating on the match, was excited for the youngster.
“He’s pumped up!” McEnroe said. “Maybe get him to sign it while we’re at it. Inspire him to get on the court and practise. Sleep with that racquet!”