Wimbledon 2013: World's two best players - what makes them tick?

It turns out Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have plenty in common – apart from their taste in literature – but Paul Newman points out some of the key differences between the two rivals

Novak Djokovic

Girlfriend Jelena Ristic. Met Djokovic at high school and studied economics in Milan before working for a Libyan oil company in Monte Carlo. Regularly accompanies Djokovic on tour.

Dogs Pierre the poodle. Travels around Europe with Djokovic and is with him at Wimbledon.

Also good at Skiing: comes from a family of professional skiers and refuses to accept non-skiing clauses in his endorsement contracts.

I wish I hadn't said that After Andy Roddick mocked him at the 2008 US Open because of his many ailments and injuries, Djokovic told the crowd: "Andy was saying that I have 16 injuries in the last match, so obviously I don't, right? That's not nice." He was jeered by home fans for the rest of the tournament.

Oolitics A fierce Serbian patriot, Djokovic made a speech four years ago via a video link at a rally in Belgrade protesting about Kosovo's moves towards independence.

Business interests Has sponsorship deal with Mercedes Benz; funded family-run restaurants and cafés in Serbia. Has entered into a partnership with CAA Sports, a division of the Hollywood talent firm.

Books Favourite writer is Yugoslav Nobel Prize-winning novelist Ivo Andric. "During tournaments I like to read easy books, mostly fiction."

What he eats His gluten-free diet means fresh berries, orange juice, herbal tea and gluten-free cereal are a mainstay. Was required to cut down his intake of meat, particularly before matches; now eats more vegetables.

Staying calm before a match Visits a Buddhist temple: "It's very calm and quiet. There is a huge amount of pressure and stress, so you need to have a place where you know you can switch off and recharge your batteries."

Twitter thoughts "In my language, we say: 'Mir Boziji, Hristos se rodi' meaning 'May God bring you peace, the Christ has been born'!" (January 2013)

Andy Murray

Girlfriend Kim Sears. Daughter of Nigel Sears, former head coach of women's tennis at Lawn Tennis Association. Studied English literature at University of Sussex. Sells her own paintings, particularly of animals.

Dogs Border terriers Maggie (Mayhem) and Rusty (Rascal). Maggie has her own Twitter account (with some assistance from Kim Sears).

Also good at Football: had a trial with Rangers before deciding to concentrate on tennis. Grandfather played for Hibernian.

I wish I hadn't said that Murray joked, during a joint interview with Tim Henman in 2006, that he would be supporting "whoever England are playing against" in the World Cup. Ever since then he has had to deny suggestions that he dislikes the English.

Politics Keeps cards close to his chest. When asked last year for his opinion on a referendum in Scotland, he replied: "That's a fairly loaded question, I think. I'll step past that one. No comment."

Business interests Lucrative contracts with Adidas, Royal Bank of Scotland, Rado watches and Jaguar have meant Murray is now No 32 on the Sports Rich List, both on and off the court.

Books Has not read a book since failing to finish a Harry Potter volume. "I go on the internet a lot and read stuff online, but I don't read books."

What he eats Murray normally eats six meals a day, with chicken and rice a favourite pre-match meal. Bananas have become an important part of his snacking regime after he shelved his distaste (having labelled them "pathetic fruit") when his nutritionist extolled their virtues. Also developed a taste for post-match sushi.

Staying calm before a match "I watch TV, comedy TV, I would say. But I don't go to a temple."

Twitter thoughts "If sarcasm is the lowest form of wit why don't more people get it?" (June 2013)

Additional research by Natalie Room and Kashmira Gander

Friendship on hold

Following similar paths as teenagers, both players trained in foreign countries – Djokovic in Germany and Murray in Spain. However, the fierceness of their battles means friendship is on hold.

As Djokovic put it: "I really like the guy, but how can you be best friends with a guy who you know you are going to be doing battle with? For now, we must keep a professional distance."

Where to watch

With bids for Centre Court tickets reaching £71,000 for a pair, fans on more frugal budgets can cheer Murray on around the UK.

The game, which starts at 1.50pm and is presented by Sue Barker, will be on screens across the capital, including Westfield Stratford, Granary Square in King's Cross, and the Boxpark complex in the East End.

BBC viewers with 3D sets will be able to watch the final via the HD red button.

Love Wimbledon will be hosting a makeshift "court" in the town centre kitted out with a large screen and deckchairs.

BBC Big Screens will be bringing the event to 21 communities, including Belfast, Liverpool, Swindon and Edinburgh.

Proud Scots can also catch the final at the Dunblane Hotel, Stirling, in the town where Murray grew up. The Woodend Barn arts venue in Aberdeen is also hosting a big-screen event.

Churches in Southampton will be screening the game, with toys available for younger attendees.

For anyone who accidentally falls asleep in the sun, highlights will be shown at 11:35pm on BBC1.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links