Tennis : Novak Djokovic

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Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 2:05 am

We can discuss all about Novak Djokovic in this thread..
Everybody are so welcome ..

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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 2:06 am

News
Djokovic eases through to his first Queen’s semifinals

The
Australian Open champion and no.2 seed in Queen’s, Novak Djokovic beat
former No.1 Lleyton Hewitt (AUS, 11th seed) in two sets, 6:2, 6:2 in 72
minutes in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Novak was in the total
control of the match. He broke Hewitt’s service in the opening game,
and once again later in the fifth game for 4:1 lead. Djokovic won the
first set 6:2.

The Serb was dominant, with great percentage of
his service, fantastic returns, powerful shots… He broke Hewitt’s
service in the third game of the second set. We saw a very long sixth
game, when Novak faced three break points, but held for 4:2. After that
he managed to break once again to increase his lead to 5:2. Djokovic
was successful serving for the match, and the final score of the set
was the same as in the previous, 6:2.

Novak will play against
the winner of the match between David Nalbandian (ARG) and Richard
Gasquet (FRA) in his first semifinal at The Artois Championships.







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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 2:09 am



Name:
Novak
Djokovic

Nicknames:

Nole, Nokia, Nox

Date of Birth:

22 May 1987

Birthplace:

Belgrade, Serbia

Residence:

Monte Carlo, Monaco


Height:
187cm

Weight:
80kg

Hair Colour:

Dark

Eye Colour:

Brownish-green


Family:

father Srdjan,
mother Dijana,
brothers Marko and
Djordje


Plays:

Right-handed
(two-handed
backhand)

Started playing
tennis when he was:

4

Turned pro:

2003

Coach:
Marian
Vajda


Current ATP Ranking
- Singles:
3

Singles Titles:


10

Masters Series
Titles:

4

Grand Slam Titles:

1

Doubles Titles:

0


Sports Equipment:

Adidas

Racquet:

Wilson


Idol:
Pete
Sampras
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 2:10 am


Biography

He is writing the
history of Serbian tennis in gold letters. He has laid down the
foundations for a new, brighter future of the white sport played in our
country. When only 16 years of age he achieved impressive results that
many older players would be envious of. Four years on, he has come
tantalisingly close to realising his life’s dream - he is already the
world’s third best player: Novak Djokovic!

- I shall never forget the day when a four year old boy came to my
tennis camp with a bag neatly packed, as if for professional training.
I asked him who packed it for him, and he replied he did it himself.
When asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, without hesitation he
said: “number one in the world”, the same answer I was given many years
ago by Monika Seles when she was a little girl - said the legend of
Yugoslav tennis, Jelena Gencic.

This took place in the Kopaonik tennis camp, whose head coach at the
time was Jelena Gencic, and the boy was none other than Novak Djokovic.

The Djokovics can be said to be a family of sportsmen and women. As a
boy Srdjan put on a pair of skis in Zvecane, where he lived at the
time, and then went on to compete for a number of years on the white
slopes. His life changed in 1984 when he finished the skiing academy
and began work as an instructor in the prestigious ‘Genex’ school in
Kopaonik. It was there one winter that he met a beautiful and slender
ski instructor Dijana, a recent DIF graduate. People started seeing
Srdjan and Dijana together on the slopes with increasing frequency. It
was the shared love of the mountain and the white pistes which brought
them together. Forever!

Novak was the first of three sons. He was four when he took up tennis,
while living in Kopaonik. Racquet in hand, he would run after the older
kids at summer tennis camp, attempting to get the ball over the net.
This went on for a while. He was eight when he was spotted by the
eagle-eyed Jelena Gencic. Ever reserved in her statements, this time
she could not but comment: ‘This is the greatest talent I have seen
since Monika Seles.‘

Jelena began to follow his progress and look after little Nole. He took
to tennis easily. As they say, he was a natural.

- It was hard then, but even now it is difficult - admits mum Dijana. -
Novak was developing, he needed to be accompanied everywhere, and we
weren’t rich. Society, as a rule, only remembers such kids later, when
the accolades and medals begin to arrive. You can imagine how we felt
when Novak left home on his own for the first time when he was twelve.
He spent three months in Munich, Germany, at Nikola Pilic’s tennis
academy. Nikola looked after him as if Nole was his own child. Still,
there were some positives in this experience. Novak began to develop a
sense of independence early on, so that later he didn’t seem to mind
spending long periods away from home.

Jelena is our family coach - says Srdjan, smiling. - She created Novak.
He owes her a great deal. Jelena instilled in him a certain attitude,
both to sport and to life. She is the same with his two brothers. I
believe that they too will succeed. Jelena has not been wrong in her
judgement yet.

Novak embarked on his stellar career path when he was 14, in 2001, a
year he finished as European champion (singles, doubles, team). He won
gold in San Remo with his national team (‘the Blues’) that year, while
they came second at World Championships. The following season he
continued to impress with great matches and became the best under-16
player of the old continent, having won the prestigious ‘La Boule’ and
‘La Poet’ tournaments in France, previously won by today’s great tennis
stars such as Hewitt, Grosjean, and Roddick. He was also victorious at
the prestigious Prince’s Cup in Miami, as well as the ITF tournament in
Pancevo (under 18) where he beat rivals up to three years older than
him. After five ITF tournaments played, he became the 40th best junior
tennis player in the world.

In the 2003 season he continued to impress with great results and
titles. It began with his appearance in the final of the Nurnberg ITF
tournament, a match he was unable to finish due to injury. He then went
on to win another gold medal for his country. In the French city of
Latne he competed together with his team mates, under the leadership of
selector Jovan Lilic, and became Europe’s best under-16 player. He won
all of the six matches played.

He found himself part of the SCG Davis Cup selection in matches against
the Ivory Coast and Bulgaria. He will remember the summer of 2003, not
only by the gold won in Latne, but also by his first professional
tennis match. At the Futures tournament organised by TK ‘Red Star’ he
beat the fourth seed in the first round, earned his first ATP point and
went on to defeat all who stood in his way to the title.

- ‘My dream was to get through the first round and win my first
professional point, so what happened was beyond my expectations, I won
the title. In my home country, my hometown, I showed that I can compete
with professional tennis players and beat them’ - said the member of
Humska camp.

He didn’t stop there, and the following week, after winning the futures
tournament he entered another one, organised by TK “Dril”, where he
reached the semi-final, notching up eight consecutive wins. His entry
into the world of professional tennis saw him instantly ‘jump over’ the
bottom half of the ATP list. At the sixth and last Futures tournament
he played in Serbia in 2003 he reached the semi-final. On route he
defeated the French player Salves, 16 years his senior and a player
who, during the ‘90s, spent five years ranked inside the top 100. He
won the national competition for under 18s, followed by the title of
national senior champion, which he won with his team (Partizan). It was
Novak who scored the winning points for Partizan against their eternal
rivals from Karaburma.

Following his appearance at the Challenger tournament in Belgrade in
early February 2005, he decided to devote his time and efforts to
playing professional tournaments and pave the way towards becoming one
of the world’s best tennis players.

That same year he successfully qualified for Grand Slam tournaments in
Melbourne, Paris and London. Following this, he entered the main draw
in New York where he reached the third round. This result saw him move
up to number 80 in the world. At his last tournament in 2005, in Paris
(the Masters Cup), he reached the third round, on route ‘banking’ his
first win over a top 10 ATP player, Mariano Puerta from Argentina (9).
This enabled him to finish the season ranked 78th.

The following year (2006) he won his first ATP tournament in the Dutch
city of Amersfort, immediately after which he took another title in
Metz. This meant that he became the youngest player inside the top 20.
Djokovic also played his first ever Grand Slam quarter-final that year
at Roland Garros. He finished the season ranked a brilliant 16 in the
world.




And then the dream year arrived. In the first week of 2007 Novak was
victorious at the start of the Australian summer season in Adelaide.
This was to be just the start of the incredibly successful season that
followed. His first stop was the semi-final in Rotterdam, after which
his career really took off and so began his rise to the very top. After
losing in the final at Indian Wells, Djokovic won his first ever Master
Series title at the ‘fifth Grand Slam’ in Miami. A few weeks later the
Serbian tennis player won the Estoril tournament. He played in the
semi-finals of Roland Garros and Wimbledon, and in mid-August he won
the Montreal tournament beating the top three players on his way to the
title: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick. At the US Open he
made his first Grand Slam final appearance, which he lost to Roger
Federer. Later that season, Novak secured Serbia’s historic place in
the World group of the Davis Cup, after which he won his fifth title of
2007 in Vienna. In mid-November this amazing season was crowned with
his first ever appearance at the Masters Cup in Shangai, even though he
failed to reach the semi-final. Even so, Djokovic finished the year as
number three in the world! 2008 will see him set his sights on even
bigger goals - the second, and then first position in the ATP rankings.




Everyone has their
idol, and so does
Novak Djokovic. His
choice is American
Pete Sampras (“I
like his serve and
behaviour
on-court!"), one of
the best players of
all time, and lately
he has mentioned
Andre Agassi as an
inspiration. He
speaks Serbian,
English and German.
His favourite
surface is
hard-court. In those
rare moments of free
time, Novak likes
surfing the net,
watching films,
listening to
relaxing music, and
sometimes he even
manages to find time
to go out with
friends and his best
friend Vuk. He likes
home-cooked food,
salads and fruit
juices.


From mid-2006 Nole has been coached by the Slovak Marian Vajda, and
this collaboration has proved to be - a big hit!
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 2:16 am







The latest ATP Rankings


Date:


09.06.2008.




Competition


Rank


Points


Full Rankings

Projection



SINGLES




№ 3

(3)



5225.00



More...



№ 3



RACE




№ 2

(1)



611.00


More...




...



DOUBLES




№ 225

(225)



275.00


More...



...



Note:

Last week's rankings are given in the brackets.





Previous weeks' Rankings


Look at Novak's rankings of the previous weeks


here
.





Season end's
Rankings





Season end's Rankings



Year


2008


2007


2006


2005


2004


2003



Competition




SINGLES




...



№ 3





16





78





186





679




DOUBLES





...





145





300





688





381





1698







Junior Rankings


The highest junior ranking (Singles):
No.34
(9th June 2003)

The highest junior ranking (Doubles):
No.26
(1st September 2003)
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 2:17 am



Grand Slam



Australian
Open

Roland
Garros

Wimbledon

US Open



2008

Winner

Semifinal

...

...



2007

Round 4

Semifinal

Semifinal

Final



2006

Round 1

Quarterfinal

Round 4

Round 3



2005

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 3



Total:

10 - 3

15 - 4

10 - 3

10 - 3
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nf-Heartbreaker on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 3:56 pm

Racquet in hand, he would run after the older
kids at summer tennis camp, attempting to get the ball over the net.
This went on for a while.
LOL. Even then, he showed his talent and his humour. Hahaha chasing the kids.
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nf-Heartbreaker on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 4:53 pm

Oh yeah Phe, I can't believe you were part of the official Novak Djokovic forum as well. Hahaha.
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 4:56 pm

I've been there for a long time already.. about 2 weeks LOL..
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 4:58 pm

@Nf-Heartbreaker wrote:My wallpaper, both my phone and computer, is
Nole. I am trying my best to get Nole wallpaper. I am going to change
my avatar to Nole. And I hope he writes his autobiography soon, I want
it, so that I can read about his life from his point of view.

He already has an autobiography... You can buy it from his official website..
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nf-Heartbreaker on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 6:13 pm

NooxPhe2 wrote:I've been there for a long time already.. about 2 weeks LOL..
So am I...hahaaha.
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nf-Heartbreaker on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 6:14 pm

NooxPhe2 wrote:
@Nf-Heartbreaker wrote:My wallpaper, both my phone and computer, is
Nole. I am trying my best to get Nole wallpaper. I am going to change
my avatar to Nole. And I hope he writes his autobiography soon, I want
it, so that I can read about his life from his point of view.

He already has an autobiography... You can buy it from his official website..
Cannot ah, my parents wont allow. How come we cant buy it from stores ah...
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 6:14 pm

Oh, my post is almost 100 there.. hehe..
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 6:15 pm

@Nf-Heartbreaker wrote:
NooxPhe2 wrote:
@Nf-Heartbreaker wrote:My wallpaper, both my phone and computer, is
Nole. I am trying my best to get Nole wallpaper. I am going to change
my avatar to Nole. And I hope he writes his autobiography soon, I want
it, so that I can read about his life from his point of view.

He already has an autobiography... You can buy it from his official website..
Cannot ah, my parents wont allow. How come we cant buy it from stores ah...

Well, i think we can buy it when we're older.. like 20 or something right?

=)..
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 6:15 pm

I can't believe in Novak Forum .. all the people are so friendly..
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nf-Heartbreaker on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 6:16 pm

Really? I dont go there cos I'm here...haha.
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 6:30 pm

Yup.. Huhu..
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Alan_Ariel on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 9:48 pm

whoa, you two are a real fan of nole.. Razz
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 9:53 pm

We are but i'm more fanatic than her.. haha..
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by alenn_wafu on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 10:51 pm

Okay Phe I believe in it, you're obssessed lol flower
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Sat 14 Jun 2008, 11:03 pm

lol!
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Sun 15 Jun 2008, 10:49 am

The Artois Championships Final: Nole vs. Rafa (Sunday at 15.00 CET)!


No.3
in the world Novak Djokovic booked himself a place in the Queen’s Club
final against the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, with a win over David
Nalbandian (ARG, 4th seed), 6:1, 6:0 in only 47 minutes.

After
winning Melbourne, Indian Wells and Rome, the best Serbian tennis
player will have the chance tomorrow to win his first tournament on
grass.

After the former Wimbledon finalist took the first game
of the match, Djokovic won 12 consecutive games with three breaks of
his opponent’s service in each set.

The finals of the Artois Championships between no.1 and no.2 seeds, Rafael Nadal (ESP) and Novak Djokovic (SRB) is on Sunday.

This will be their 12th match, Nadal leads 8:3.

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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by kRiSHNa on Mon 16 Jun 2008, 10:23 am

Nadal the king at Queen's



Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic 7-6 (8/6) 7-5 in a thrilling final of the Artois Championship at Queen's Club.
Nadal trailed 3-0 in the first set on centre court and was a point away from being 4-0 down, but fought back in typically tenacious fashion to snatch a hard-fought set on a tie-break.
In a battle of this year's Grand Slam winners, the French Open and Australian Open champions produced some fantastic tennis, with many rallies more suited to a clay court than grass.
Djokovic held one set point at 6-5 in the tie-break but Nadal took the next three points to win it 8-6 in 74 minutes, the Serbian throwing his racket to the turf in frustration.
Nadal seemed on course to race through the second set when he broke for a 2-0 lead, but Djokovic refused to concede and broke straight back.
The next six games went with serve but only after Djokovic saved two more break points to make it 4-4, Nadal almost producing one of the best shots of all time after slipping over, a diving forehand volley from behind the baseline which flew just wide.
Djokovic looked to have made the most of his reprieve, breaking to love in the next game only to then lose his serve straight back while serving for the set.
And Nadal made the world number three pay the price for such profligacy, holding serve to lead 6-5 and then breaking Djokovic again to secure the win.


http://espnstar.com/tennis/news/detail/item76685/Nadal-the-king-at-Queen's/
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Mon 16 Jun 2008, 12:01 pm


First grass court title goes to Nadal!


Novak
Djokovic lost in the Artois Championships final to Rafael Nadal in two
sets, 6:7 (6:8), 5:7 in 2 hours and 15 minutes, and failed to win his
first grass court trophy. This was the first final between the top two
seeds at the Queen’s Club since 2002.

Djokovic started first set
very well. He broke Nadal’s service in the second game and won the next
one for 3:0 lead. Novak also had one break point in the fourth game,
but the Spaniard held. Nadal broke Djokovic’s service in the fifth game
and then equalised to 3:3.

The set was decided in tie break.
Both players made several mini-breaks. Novak had a set point serving at
6-5, but Nadal turned it around and won it 8-6.

Djokovic lost
his momentum a bit at the start of the second set and was a break down,
but regained it fast to equalise to 2:2. Nole faced two break points in
the eighth game, but held for 4:4. The Serb then broke Nadal’s service
in the nineth game for 5:4 lead. Nadal immediately fought back for 5:5.
Djokovic looked pretty disappointed with his previous game, and the
Spaniard won next two games for 7:5 in the second set, and captured his
first title on grass.

Their H2H is now 9-3 for Nadal.
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Mon 16 Jun 2008, 12:01 pm

It's really heart breaking when Djokovic lose to Nadal again.. alan_ariel
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Mon 16 Jun 2008, 12:02 pm

Nevermind Nole, u still can do it! Win your first trophy in grass by winning the Wimbledon OPEN!
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nf-Heartbreaker on Mon 16 Jun 2008, 5:02 pm

BEAT NADAL AND FEDERER ALONG THE WAY!!!!!!!!! TAKE REVENGE!
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Mon 16 Jun 2008, 5:10 pm

Yah, i agre!
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nf-Heartbreaker on Mon 16 Jun 2008, 5:23 pm

YEAH!!!
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Mon 16 Jun 2008, 5:50 pm

NOLE .. we love u.. ( fans )
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nf-Heartbreaker on Mon 16 Jun 2008, 6:02 pm

NOLE...YOU WILL BE NO.1!!!!!
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Mon 16 Jun 2008, 6:12 pm

Agree.. Eventhough U haven't no.1 in our heart u're no 1..!
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Alan_Ariel on Mon 16 Jun 2008, 6:18 pm

oh my.. Razz
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nf-Heartbreaker on Mon 16 Jun 2008, 6:21 pm

YES!!! FOREVER NO.1!!!
Hello Alan, care to join us in our screaming-encouragement-for-our-dear-Nole session? HAHAHA.
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Mon 16 Jun 2008, 6:21 pm

lol!
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nf-Heartbreaker on Mon 16 Jun 2008, 6:25 pm

Well we are...hahaha.
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Mon 16 Jun 2008, 6:50 pm

Yes, we are..
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nf-Heartbreaker on Wed 18 Jun 2008, 6:26 pm

No news on Nole? Hahaha.
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Thu 19 Jun 2008, 1:24 pm

No got.. hehe...
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Thu 19 Jun 2008, 3:16 pm

Djokovic: ‘I’m getting closer to Nadal!’


18.06.2008. (21:00)








Although he lost three matches to Nadal in one month, Novak Djokovic is not discontented.

On the contrary, Nole thinks he’s come closer to Nadal in the last 30 days, especially on fast court.

‘I
think we’re very close now. Our last match was decided by only few
points. Nadal is dominant on clay, but I know I can beat him on grass.
I’ll need few more good shots and a bit of luck’, said Djokovic.

Their next match could be in the semifinals or finals of Wimbledon.

‘Some
things have changed since last year. I’m a better player on grass now
then I was last year, especially with service. There are things I need
to work on and improve, and I hope I’ll manage to do that till the
beginning of the tournament. Grand Slams are very unique tournaments.
One should never think in advance about his possible opponents in the
later stages. Only if we come to the stage of the tournament when we
will play eachother, I will think about it.’

Djokovic praised Nadal’s forehand.

‘Whatever
ball I give him on forehand, powerful, or with spin, he somehow
miraculously returns it. I think that is his strongest weapon, besides
his great mental strength’.

Novak will spend next few days till Wimbledon in London, preparing for the tournament.

‘A
Grand Slam title brings a huge selfconfidence, it means you’re on top.
I take this seriously, and I’ve decided to stay and prepare in London.
I feel good, I’m trying to enjoy life and to find something to
entertain me. Besides tennis, golf is one of the options.’

The tournament begins on June 23rd.
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nf-Heartbreaker on Thu 19 Jun 2008, 3:18 pm

Shocked
Yes he is coming closer. GO NOLE!
Now Nadal is playing golf with his friends back in Spain...hahaha.
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Thu 19 Jun 2008, 3:31 pm



The Big Interview: Novak Djokovic



1








Paul Kimmage,
Times (www.timesonline.co.uk)

I’ve
known Djokovic for years because we grew up playing in the juniors
together. I still speak to him and get on with him now we are on the
tour together, but you get to the stage where you don’t want to be too
close. Many people like his personality, including his famous
impressions of other players. He does great take-offs of players’
serves. The best ones are Roddick and Sharapova, and Nadal tugging at
his shorts. He’s been accused of arrogance on one or two occasions, but
I wouldn’t want to say anything bad about him. Given that we’re rivals,
we get on fine.

Novak Djokovic reaches across the table and
takes the copy of “Hitting Back”, Andy Murray’s recently published
autobiography. “Very nice,” he exclaims, examining the cover with
wonder, “I didn’t expect this.”

“You didn’t?” I inquire.

“No. He told me he’s not a book reader so I’m very surprised he wrote a book.”

“Do you read books?”

“I always take two or three books with me when I’m travelling.”

“What have you brought on this trip?”

“I’m
reading a big book at the moment about Nikola Tesla — one of the great
inventors of electricity 100 years ago. He was poisoned in the States,
in Chicago, in a hotel. He was close to finishing a project, one of the
most powerful weapons in civilisation, and they poisoned him and took
the papers. It’s still today a national security secret.”

“Tesla?”

“Yes,
N-i-k-o-l-a T-e-s-l-a. Our national airport in Belgrade is called after
him; he’s one of our most appreciated people in history but he was
living in the States and working in the States.

“He was very
close to inventing the wireless transmission of electricity in those
days, him and Edison, but not many people know Tesla. I’m just starting
the book and getting involved in the story. I’m really curious about
who killed him and why.”

“It sounds fascinating but it’s not exactly light reading?”

“Sorry?”

“It’s not a comic,” I explain. “It’s a serious book.”

“Yes.”

“You know, I had a hunch coming down here that I was going to like you.”

“You did?” he laughs, surprised.

“Yeah.”

“Well, you have two choices,” he says. “You either like somebody or you don’t like somebody.”

“That’s true,” I concur. “But you are supposed to ask why.”

“Okay, why?”

“Because of these.”

(I hand him a printed selection of his internet blogs.)

“Oh, you’ve been reading my diaries.”

“Yeah, great stuff,” I observe. “I love the style and the humour, the touch of ‘Borat’.”

“Well
I like to have fun with it,” he says. “Most of my fans are younger
people and I don’t think they want to read stuff like ‘I played a good
match today. My forehand was going well. My backhand was not so good’.
These things are not interesting. What is interesting is what the
players are doing in the locker rooms. Are they good guys? Bad guys?
How are they off court? Of course, I never go too far with these things
but always to the limit, just to make them laugh. I get a lot of
positive feedback.”

“I’m not surprised,” I say. “The good news is that if the tennis goes badly, you have a career in sportswriting.”

“Thanks,” he smiles.

“The bad news is that it doesn’t pay as well.”

WE
MEET on a Tuesday afternoon in the players’ dining room at the Artois
Championships at Queen’s. The man they call “The Djoker” is dressed for
combat in a white shirt and shorts and awaits the arrival of his coach,
Marian Vajda, before heading to the practice court.

I’ve been
warned that he’s easily distracted and have positioned him in a chair
facing the corner. He sits down for five seconds and starts to fidget.
He’s not happy. We swap seats. It takes the Murray autobiography to get
him focused. He picks it up. There’s no index. But within 30 seconds he
has found the passage with his name.

Four days have passed since
his semi-final defeat to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros and he arrives
on these shores after a two-day visit to Milan, where his girlfriend,
Jelena Ristic, is completing a degree in economics. They met through
some mutual tennis friends and have been dating for three years.

“The
last two days were great,” he explains. “I relaxed with my girlfriend
and friends and we talked about everything except tennis. During the
French Open I didn’t feel mentally . . . fresh. You play so much and
work so much and are focused so much that it is natural to need some
rest. I feel much more positive now and look forward to the grass-court
season.”

Home for “Artois” week is a plush hotel in Chelsea and
then he is renting a property in Wimbledon for the championships. “I
learnt a lesson last year,” he says. “I stayed at the Conrad in Chelsea
Harbour - a nice hotel but it took forever to get to Wimbledon in
traffic. And because of the rain I had a terrible schedule.

“I
was one of the players hurt most by the weather; I played one match \
for five or six days! The waiting around on site was really tiring,
better to have a house within walking distance so you can go and have a
rest.”

“I’ve read that you enjoy golf,” I observe.

“I do. It’s become an obsession,” he says.

“And you’re a big fan of the opera?”

“Yes,
but I don’t get a lot of time or chances to go. And I need someone I
can share it with — you can’t go to the opera by yourself. There used
to be Vittorio Selmi from the ATP \. Last year \ at Wimbledon, I went
to his office and we sat down and listened to Don Giovanni on his
laptop. I like classical music. It relaxes you and takes you to another
world.”

“Do you enjoy London?” I ask.

“London has a
special soul, a lot of tradition, a lot of history, especially in my
profession. Tennis has become a sport from this country. When you step
on the Wimbledon courts and you feel the grass, and you are privileged
enough to be one of the first players to play on that grass, it feels
great.

“You remember all of the winners and the history and
that’s one of the things I adore about the English public . . . they
take so much care about their history and their tradition, not just in
tennis - even the small things like the taxis in the streets, so clean,
and the same as they were years ago. And there are some parks which I
really like. What I don’t like is the weather, which is always bad when
I’m here.”
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Thu 19 Jun 2008, 3:31 pm

“You like Paris?”

“Paris is one of my favourite cities.”

“In
your last diary from Roland Garros, you wrote that you were bored with
some of the older guys in the locker room and spent some time with the
junior kids ‘to remember what it was like’. Why? Explain that to me?”

“Well,
maybe bored was a little strong . . . I just wanted to spend some time
with the juniors to remind myself of how it used to be when I played. I
know that wasn’t a century ago, I am on the tour for three years, but
it feels like forever, and it was just nice to . . . the juniors look
at you in a different way.

“They look at you with appreciation,
you are their idol, and it was nice to be surrounded by them when they
ask for some information or advice.”

“How do the older guys look at you?”

“The older guys look a bit different. I am their... rival, and so they look at me with certain goals of rivalry.”

“And
how intense is the rivalry?” I ask. “John McEnroe said last year that
one of the things he finds curious about you guys is that you all seem
to get along. Is he right? Do you get along well with Roger and Rafael?”

“Yes
I do, and I think that’s normal. Tennis is an individual sport and
there is more room for conversations and for friendships. We see each
other week after week, most of the time. We respect each other because
we know what it takes to become a professional tennis player,
especially at the top. It’s not good to get too close because you are
trying to beat them, but there is rivalry of course. And you feel it.
But there is no bad thoughts or negative energy.”

“Maybe you’re not haunted by the same demons McEnroe was,” I suggest.

“Yeah, well, this is probably a different era,” he says, “but I’ve been through some difficulties in the past.

“I
was brought up in a very different environment than Andy Murray or
Nadal . . . there was a lot of war, economic instability, and the
country had a lot of problems.”

As Serbia plays diplomatic tug
of war with breakaway Kosovo, the political sensibilities of Australian
Open champion Novak Djokovic are rising to the surface. The 21-year-old
has always had interests other than tennis, including alpine skiing and
the finer arts of pizza-making, thanks to his family’s restaurant. But
the dramatic developments in his home town have Djokovic concerned
about the nation that has become the newest power in the game . . .
Djokovic’s conviction was strong enough that he sent a video message
urging a unified Serbia during an anti-Kosovo independence rally in
Belgrade shortly after winning in Melbourne. “I wasn’t interested in
politics, but this isn’t only politics, this is something really
serious,” Djokovic said.

- Bill Scott, Tennis magazine.

He
is telling me the story of his most vivid childhood memory. The date is
May 22, 1999 and he has gathered with his family at their home in
Belgrade for a small celebration . . .
“Happy birthday to you,
“Happy birthday to you,
“Happy birthday dear Noll-eh,
“Happy birthday to you.”
... Novak Djokovic is 12 years old.

Today,
nine years later, he can still hear the singing when he closes his eyes
but it’s the drone of the Nato bombers overhead that resonates most, as
they prepare to unload on the thermo-electric power plant at Veliki
Crljeni.

Soon, the walls of the city will vibrate and their home
will be cloaked in darkness. What does he know or understand of war? No
more than the slaughtered innocents of Bosnia. But he is learning about
fear.

“I would wake at night during the bombings and look at my
mother’s reaction and of course she would be afraid, so I would pray
that nothing happened to us. It was a really terrible time. For 2Å
months they bombed us every single night and I remember running with my
family from one building to another, just to find a place for cover.”

His
boyhood before that spring, when the Nato offensive was launched, was
pretty idyllic. The eldest of Srdjan and Djiana’s three boys, he spent
his summers, and large chunks of winters, at the mountain resort of
Kapaonik, where his parents owned a restaurant and gave skiing lessons.

When
Novak was four, three tennis courts were built in the resort and he
began taking lessons from Jelena Gencic, a coach who had first honed
the skills of Monica Seles. “It was my destiny to play this sport,” he
says. “I loved it from the start and really dedicated myself to it.”

In
1997, in the aftermath of the bombing, he spent his first sejour at the
Nikola Pilic academy in Munich, where he would attend for two years.
Had his war-time experiences that summer helped mould the future
champion? Yes and no. “I think in some ways it made me appreciate
things more,” he says, “but did it make me a better tennis player? No,
what made me a better tennis player was work on the tennis court.”

The
work bore fruit. He won a host of underage and junior titles and was
tipped as a future star. He was courted by the Lawn Tennis Association
and offered the chance to ‘become’ British. He won his first ATP
tournament in the Dutch city of Amersfort and won immediately after in
Metz. The kid was on his way, the first of a new breed of talented,
handsome champions... Made in Serbia.

I remind him of the
perception of Serbia, and Serbians, as a result of the war. “I wouldn’t
call it flattering,” I suggest. “How difficult has that been for you?”

“When
I started to travel as a junior, I always had the impression that
people stepped back when they heard where you were from. They were
scared. They didn’t know what to expect from you. Our country had a bad
reputation in the world because of the people who led the country in
certain periods. It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t have much to do with my
country. I didn’t need them to succeed. But I love my country and I am
proud of where I am coming from. People are hungry for success, for
some positive brightness in their lives, for me it’s a challenge and I
think I’m doing well to present my country in a nice way. And that’s
what I like to do.”

“In one of your diaries, you mention being
criticised by a politician for not respecting the national flag during
a Davis Cup match in Belgrade. What was his problem?”

“It was
after a doubles match on the second day. We drew a big heart on the
(clay) court and placed our flag inside the heart. There were 20,000
people in the arena that day. It was a great gesture from us but some
jealous guy, who was looking for exposure, criticised us during a
discussion in the parliament. He said the flag is a symbol of our
country and should not be placed on the floor. It was ridiculous.”

“Is it ever a strain carrying the flag for Serbia? Does it add to the stress?”

“It’s
an added responsibility, I think, but not a stress. I feel proud when I
take my flag, but it adds to the responsibility because a lot of people
rely on you and you have to be careful what you do and what you say and
how you act in public. But it’s all part of what every successful
athlete has to deal with.”

“You were criticised recently for your comments on Kosovo?”

“Yes.”

“Your Dad was born there?”

“Yes,
my Dad was born there; my uncle was born there; my aunt was born there;
my grandfather lived there for 30 years so we have a lot of history
there. It’s also the centre of Serbian history, the cradle of Serbian
humanity and it just . . . it just feels bad when you see that taken
away from you, especially from the side of my father who lived there
for a long time. There is not much we can do. I can say the things I
say to you now, but you just have to accept the way it is. I don’t want
to expose my opinion on that too much because they will use it against
me.”

“Is it harder to remain faithful to yourself, to your true personality, the closer you get to the top?”

“I’m
trying not to change. I want to try be a down-to-earth guy who is
friendly and communicative, but it does get harder. There are places
you can no longer visit; you have less and less privacy.”

“What about the tennis? When you were 17, you said it was your ambition to be No 1?”

“I’ve
been saying that since I was six. I didn’t want to be unrealistic but
I’ve always believed that it was something I can achieve and every day
I get closer. Even if I don’t make it I’ll be happy because I dedicated
my life to a great sport, lived my life in a great way, but there is
still plenty of time. I am only 21.”

“The win in Australia was obviously a big step toward that?”

“Yes,
it was a big step forward for my confidence and my belief. Before that
win in the Australian Open, I was a great player who had the potential
to be a Grand Slam winner. But I wasn’t a Grand Slam winner, that was
the difference. But I’m happy to have done it. This is the dream for
every professional.”

“And to win a second?”

“That’s the
goal. It’s something I really want. Hopefully I can make it in
Wimbledon because this is my favourite one; I like to play on grass but
maybe my game is not suitable; I don’t get to the net as much as I
should. The grass is much slower than it used to be, so the baseline
players are having more success than serve and volley players so that’s
encouraging for me. I’m not in a rush. I will take it step by step.
I’ve won my first Grand Slam and it’s not a priority to win a second
this year. I just want to try to be consistent.”

“What about the tag of ‘The Djoker’? Do you like that?”

“I
wouldn’t like it if people looked at me as more of a joker than a
tennis player. I like when people accept me as I am and make positive
comments about what I do on the tennis court, this is my goal. I want
to promote myself as a big champion. Personality wise, I know I do some
things that a lot of players won’t do but this is me.”

“The impersonations?”

“Yes.”

“Is there a pressure now to keep doing them?”

“Yeah,
people put pressure on me, but I’m not going to do it officially on the
court any more. I do it for fun, for me and my coach. I just like to
have fun in practice sometimes.”

“How are your victims with it? How’s Andy Roddick?”

“No,
they are fine. I practised with him last year in Wimbledon and he
started to make fun of me, and my \ bouncing, so we had fun.”

“And Maria?”

“She’s
okay with it. Everybody is okay. Maybe Roger was a bit \ with it, but
that’s something I don’t want. I said, ‘Look guys, I’m not going to do
it any more. I don’t want to provoke negative opinion or comments’.”

“Because that hurts your tennis?”

“Exactly, it hurts everything.”

Marian Vajda, his Slovakian coach, arrives and pulls up a chair. “I hope he is not telling you dirty jokes,” he smiles.

“No, he’s been teaching me how to speak Czech,” I reply.

“Look at this,” Djokovic announces, waving Murray’s book.

“He wrote a book!” Vajda gulps, incredulous.

“He doesn’t read a book but he writes a book,” Djokovic smiles. “It’s a nice book.”

“Oh it’s nice,” the coach agrees.

And for the first time since we sat down, you suspect he might be hamming it.
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Thu 19 Jun 2008, 3:31 pm

Djokovic’s rise to the top

Won
January’s Australian Open to become the first Serbian to win a Grand
Slam singles title and the youngest player in the open era to reach the
semi-finals of all four Grand Slam tournaments
His highest ranking
is No3 and he has spent 11 months behind only Roger Federer and Rafael
Nadal after ascending to third spot on July 9, 2007

When Novak made a big impression on Maria

Flushing
Meadows, September 2007. Novak Djokovic has just beaten Carlos Moya in
the US Open quarterfinals and is on his way to his first Grand Slam
final, where he will lose to Roger Federer. After asking him about his
win on the night, the American TV presenter then asks the Serb if he
will entertain the crowd with a few impressions of his fellow tennis
stars. After a little gentle persuasion, he obliges. First up is Maria
Sharapova. Djokovic hitches up his shorts as if wearing one of the
Russian’s skirts, bounces from foot to foot before standing bolt
upright, poised on the service line. After a few theatrical deep
breaths, a studious parting of the hair and an exaggerated bouncing of
the ball, he lets out a yelp as he serves. Next up is Rafael Nadal.
This time, Djokovic lowers his shorts, rolls his shirt sleeves up to
his shoulders and sprints around the court to warm up. Pretending to
push back his long hair, he excitedly fidgets with his shorts, rubs the
ball feverishly on his thigh and serves, then pumps his first at
winning an imaginary point. The crowd were won over, though Djokovic
wasn’t sure it was the right move: “I need to say in the last two days
the people were more congratulating me for the impressions than for my
tennis. I was wondering, ‘Guys, am I here for the impersonation,
entertaining, or to play tennis?’” It didn’t stop him from giving a
repeat performance in Australia, in January, however. Federer, whom
Djokovic has also impersonated (Pete Sampras, Andy Roddick and Goran
Ivanisevic make up the rest of his act), has said: “I know some guys
weren’t happy. Some guys might think it’s funny - he’s walking a
tightrope, for sure.” Sharapova has also offered to do her own
impression of Djokovic: “We’d need a really long time because all I’ll
need is a tennis ball and I’m just going to stand here and bounce the
ball for a really long time before I serve. We’re going to be here all
day long.”
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nf-Heartbreaker on Thu 19 Jun 2008, 3:39 pm

He tells dirty jokes? Wow awesome. So do I. lol!
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Thu 19 Jun 2008, 3:41 pm

He's a funny guy..
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nf-Heartbreaker on Thu 19 Jun 2008, 3:45 pm

I like his personality.

Marian Vajda, his Slovakian coach, arrives and pulls up a chair. “I hope he is not telling you dirty jokes,” he smiles.

“No, he’s been teaching me how to speak Czech,” I reply.

“Look at this,” Djokovic announces, waving Murray’s book.

“He wrote a book!” Vajda gulps, incredulous.

“He doesn’t read a book but he writes a book,” Djokovic smiles. “It’s a nice book.”

“Oh it’s nice,” the coach agrees.

And for the first time since we sat down, you suspect he might be hamming it.

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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Thu 19 Jun 2008, 4:07 pm

Me too..
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nf-Heartbreaker on Thu 19 Jun 2008, 4:17 pm

Is Novak and Andy Murray good friends?
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Re: Tennis : Novak Djokovic

Post by Nazrin on Thu 19 Jun 2008, 4:21 pm

@Nf-Heartbreaker wrote:Is Novak and Andy Murray good friends?

Kinda, But like nole says they're rival too..
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