Novak Djokovic's astonishing prize money and BBC pundit's shock wife comments

Jelena and Novak Djokovic have been married for 10 years
-Credit: (Image: Beatriz Velasco/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic will undoubtedly go down in tennis history as a legend of the game, having become the most successful male player of all time over the course of his glittering career.

With an incredible haul of 24 Grand Slam titles, which include seven Wimbledon wins, the Serbian star is the only man in history to be the reigning champion of all four majors at once across three different surfaces. But, as you can imagine, such incredible success has also banked him a huge amount of money.

In fact, Djokovic is also tennis' highest earner, having won an estimated £143m in prize money over the past 20 years. Of course, he could add another £2.7m to that total if he lifts his eighth title at SW19 later this month.

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Of course, it's not just tournament wins that contribute to the 37-year-old's wealth, with a whole host of brands unsurprisingly wanting him to endorse them. Djokovic has numerous sponsorship deals that generate millions, including those with Asics, Head, Hublot, Lacoste and Peugeot.

Add to that his deals with Lemero, NetJets, Raiffeisen Bank International and Ultimate Software Group, and Djokovic's net worth is boosted to a staggering £189.8m according to Celebrity Net Worth.

He shares his huge personal fortune with his wife Jelena, who he met while the pair were both at high school together in their native Serbia. After they began dating in 2005, they married nine years later at the Aman Sveti Stefan Resort, a five-star hotel resort in Montenegro.

Jelena, 38, is a businesswoman and the global CEO of the Novak Djokovic Foundation, a charity she co-founded with her husband that strives to achieve equal access to early childhood education. The couple also share two children, Stefan, nine and Tara, six, while Jelena has over 710,000 followers on Instagram.

She is often seen courtside cheering on her husband at various tournaments, but was a no-show at Wimbledon back in 2019, sparking speculation around their marriage. After Jelena failed to attend any of Djokovic's matches, the couple addressed the matter and said it was down to Tara being too young to attend.

However, that didn't stop the rumour mill, with BBC pundit John McEnroe having previously suggested that a poor run of form for the Serbian star was down to "off-court issues with the family". McEnroe even compared Djokovic's downward slide to the scandal that once surrounded Tiger Woods, remarking: "Woods had the issues with his wife and then he seemed to go completely off the rails and has never been even close to being the same player. So we're starting to say: 'Wait a minute, is this possible with him, Djokovic?'"

But while Djokovic was taken aback by those comments, he was diplomatic in his response, remarking: "He has his right to say the things he wants to say. I don't necessarily need to agree with that. But it's his right.”

Jelena has also been outspoken on the pressures that come with being an athlete's wife, admitting she has struggled with the public attention she gets from being married to the tennis superstar.

"When you are young, the spotlight and attention certainly feel comfortable," she told Vesti-Online. “At first, the experience does not alarm you because it can bring you some difficulties. We look at public figures and think that kind of publicity is OK.

"But as time goes on, you lack anonymity, you lack the privacy to be able to do whatever you like at any time, in any situation. I try to resist all these expectations to always be myself and for Novak to be able to be himself. That is probably why I am being criticised by the public ‘why didn't I wear makeup’ or ‘why wasn't I always wearing heels’."

In a 2020 interview, she also said she had been "judged" for not fitting into the stereotype of an athlete's wife, which sparked an "internal battle" in her mind.

Appearing on In Depth with Graham Besinger, she said: “I think this is going to be brave to say to millions of people watching, but I was trying to compete with him because I felt like, ‘I’m also deserving and I’m not getting enough credit for what I’m doing because I’m doing it more in the backstage'. My ego was there battling also, an internal battle because I always felt like I can express so much more but I have to do it quietly."

"Basically, as a woman, you are not allowed to speak up a lot, you are not allowed to show up a lot," she added. "There is this stereotype about who is the wife of an athlete, how she should look like, how she should behave, and I don't fit very well into that stereotype. I am glad I don't because I don't need to. But it was hard because I was judged because of it.”