Novak Djokovic does so much good for kids that I’ll forgive him for beating Roger + Rafa

Mr. U.S. Open with my gorge pal Jenny's cute kids.
Mr. U.S. Open with my gorge pal Jenny’s adorable dudes.

Tennis nerd that I am, I spend countless hours parked in front of the telly watching tournaments.

Sure, I try to make all that sofa time worthwhile. (Don’t tell my BFF Lisa, but she’s about to get a deeply awesome, whopper of a scarf I just knitted her during Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.)

Mostly, though, during those matches, there’s just lots of screaming going on…at Novak Djokovic.

Whenever ol’ Nole is on one side of the net, I’m invariably rooting for the chap on the opposite side of the net. Especially if it’s Rafa, my fave. Or Roger, my other fave. Or Stan, my other other fave.

But as much as I don’t love the frequency with which Djokovic clobbers my most beloved players, I have to admit that he actually seems like a very nice guy.

This past Monday morning, for instance, I was charmed by his appearance on the TODAY show. He was clutching his second Open trophy (which made me sad all over again for graceful, gallant Rog), but he was such a gentleman – very gracious in giving credit for his win to his team, his fans, even the competition.

SIDEBAR: You should have seen the way Savannah and the other TODAY broads were fawning over Djokovic. That made me squirm. Him too, needless to say. Super uncool.

But here’s what IS cool: The next day, my impossibly glossy pal Jenny posted the cute pic here, with the caption:

“We ran into a lot of people today…great surprises.”

I’ll say!

It seems that after attending Rosh Hashanah services at their temple on Monday, Jenny and her hubby and sons popped by Bar Italia for a little lunch-y. And who do they happen to find but Mr. World No. 1?

I love this shot so much because it says: “I’m not too fabulous, or too busy, or too Mr. World No. 1 to snap a quick pic with a few young tennis fans.”

A new dad himself, Djokovic has said that his baby boy Stefan has helped him and his wife Jelena find “new dimensions of love.” Or something to that effect; he’s been doing a lot of press lately.

Clearly, the guy likes kids. To wit, the goal of his Novak Djokovic Foundation, which raises money and awareness through scores of global initiatives, is to bolster early childhood education among disadvantaged families. In Djokovic’s home country of Serbia, not even half the kids are enrolled in preschool. Some don’t even have access to a preschool in their area at all.

Djokovic believes – and this is backed my reams of data – that children who receive early childhood education have a much better chance for success later in life.

To become a winner. Maybe even a winner like him.

And the organization’s tagline pretty much says it all:

BELIEVE IN THEIR DREAMS.

I do. And so do you.