Rio de Janeiro: Even a superstar can be star-struck at the Olympic Village, where Michael Phelps plucked up his courage to get a picture taken with 12-time Grand Slam tennis champion Novak Djokovic.
Phelps, the US swimming juggernaut whose 22 Olympic medals include 18 golds, is usually the man inspiring awe among his fellow athletes. But when he bumped into the Serbian star — who completed the career Grand Slam at the French Open this year — it was Phelps who wanted to commemorate the moment.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s Djokovic,” Phelps said, adding, “You give each other the nod and the smile, and I was like ‘I’m saying hi. I don’t care, I’m saying hi to him.’ “He’s super-nice, super-down to earth. Easy to talk to. It was something that was cool. I’ve watched so many of his matches on TV, he’s had a lot of epic ones,” the swimming legend said.
On court, Djokovic will face 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in the first round of the Olympics in a rematch of the London 2012 bronze medal match, in which the Argentine beat Djokovic.