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This 26-year-old Serb is one of the toughest players the game has ever seen. Defense is the name of his game. His return of serve can go so deep and have so much pace on it that he basically neutralizes any advantage the server should have in a point.guzwNpVgCelJ9SQ_NUHJ6_y7_CdjbjUFSt0tLJcf_cfMunV1-GjChI9E9CvMVdpDoujNVco=s151

What’s more he is so flexible it is difficult to get almost any ball past him. Even when he is standing along the baseline, he makes his side of the court seem painfully small to his opponent when he extends his legs and arms as though they were rubber bands.images-5 11.50.24 PM

Djokovic became #1 in 2011, two years ago at Wimbledon, but he might still seem like an upstart interloper (at least to some Roger and Rafa fans).

When Djokovic won his first Grand Slam at the Australian Open in 2008, he was the first player to win a slam not named Roger or Rafa since The French Open back in 2005.

He was nothing like Roger or Rafa. He complained on court. He laughed like a hyena. And then he didn’t win a major for the next three years. Some thought he was only a one time blip on the tennis screen, but Djokovic proved them wrong.j6RZfGi0_JKqTpRuL63qPO8on3m-U8Si73KEiw36RmxzFSxVKzNA3VIS3oR8Ge8twjKTHQ=s152

Order was restored until 2010

and then that upstart interloper led the Serbian national team to its first Davis Cup win in history.u_Tajru34ctDsiPkVJAME2jSwj1eBVNuqyXF80y1Ub9OAZm8vBfPX3gsClb2hLgfoJ78=s127

From there Novak went on a winning streak (43 consecutive matches in 2011) until Federer ended that streak in the semifinals at the 2011 French Open. imagessG77qoS4OHr87d_teJx9wlc8DCWuc07745f27kZp7hjMokquO2gSasSH-OQW42sxDEGobw=s115

Djokovic went on to win Wimbledon and the US Open that year as well as the Australian in 2012 and 2013.

And yet still he might seem like an interloper to traditionalists.

He is brash, impertinent and cheeky.images-6 11.50.24 PM

His comical impersonations of players like Sharapova and McEnroe have won him the title of Joker.images-1 1.03.45 AMimages-2 1.03.45 AM


Not what one would expect of a Hero.

Let alone a Romance Hero.

But one might expect it of Ferris Bueller.B0f3UQafcc2ps3XblN10F6El1PqPSZqUef7D4CMgnDkLdQYR-g6IQQq4JmINxDA_RBxa5g=s152

If Ferris Bueller is a Romance Hero, he isn’t your typical Romance Hero. But there’s no denying he’s a bit of a rogue. images 2.05.51 AM

He’s daring. He sets out on an adventure (albeit playing hookey in order to do it).9Qc9n3OXKddT413Y4_X8dNZ9PZz4V1lmt3k-FqB2p8l7YT4blJaDAvmWlsAl4qp7hQlZOg=s152

He does the rescue-the-damsel-in-distress bit when he manages to get his girlfriend Sloane Peterson out of class as well to join him and his friend Cameron.021C8LCGkA-l0UNlJr6GZbIXa-GTsIxX_uy1wRMmJJjNNe3RrckXIK55Tqu5hn_vhHzl2_Q=s163images 2.15.32 AM

And of course, in the end he gets the girl.

Some Romantic Heroes reject the status quo and adopt their own code to live by. That would be Ferris Bueller and Djokovic.2dlvGZD9EOTWN52t-FSVaDhmi9k1ZBmIk_vzjYdT8DV03IUfQEFzEybW_DE6fuaT3-oXQbY=s152iBHGka1BMiyrBPvEk2wkGlv6uKWSntRm4vKjxQlKPnp8Fvegc55NWqn59n5EmA2ap-NdqQ=s143

As Ferris says on that infamous day off, “If we played by the rules, we’d be in gym right now.”