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Novak Djokovic becomes fifth player to reach 1,000 match wins

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Viktor Troicki first encountered Novak Djokovic on a tennis court. He recalled blanking Djokovic 9-0 in an under-10 event in Belgrade.

Troicki’s favourite memory of his close friend also came on court, about 15 years later in the pro ranks. Djokovic, in the infancy of a career-altering season, turned the tables by dispatching his compatriot 6-0, 6-1 in Indian Wells in 2011. The serenity of the California desert contrasted with NATO bombs Djokovic and his family evaded in the Serbian capital in 1999.

“He kicked my ass, and at the net I was furious,” Troicki, now 11 months into retirement, told ATPTour.com. “I even broke my racquet into two pieces. I was coming up to the net to congratulate him. He smiled and told me, ‘Great match, you played very well.’ He was obviously joking. He made me smile and laugh about it, and it was something good friends do.

“We played a lot of matches, and I didn’t have too much success against him,” Troicki chuckled.

But Troicki isn’t alone in experiencing defeat at the hands of the 37-time ATP Masters 1000 champion, who today becomes just the fifth man in the Open Era to reach 1,000 match wins.

When asked by ATPTour.com for his initial thoughts on Djokovic achieving the extremely rare milestone, colourful commentator Robbie Koenig began with, “No-vakking — if you can start with that word — way!”

“It’s mind boggling what he has done, and the type of opposition he has had to do it against, in the (Roger) Federer-(Rafael) Nadal era,” continued the five-time ATP Tour doubles winner from South Africa.

It added to Djokovic’s extensive, distinguished list of records, such as, from 2015-2016, becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to claim four consecutive majors and the first in the Open Era to bag each of the majors at least twice.

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If not keeping track, those feats completed at the French Open marked his 730th and 961st wins.

No man has held the No. 1 Pepperstone ATP Ranking longer (369 weeks) or completed the Career Golden Masters (winning all nine Masters 1000 tournaments), which, for good measure, he has done twice. That includes winning the ‘Sunshine Double’ (capturing Indian Wells and Miami in the same year) four times. And let’s not forget his five titles at the Nitto ATP Finals.

Djokovic joined fellow GOAT candidates Federer and Nadal in tallying 1,000 victories. But before the emergence of the all-conquering Big Three, it hadn’t been done in the men’s game since Ivan Lendl in 1992. Jimmy Connors, a rival of Lendl’s, became the founding and only other member of the select club in 1984.

That Djokovic sits in the same class as Connors and Lendl is appropriate. Connors possessed a two-handed backhand and returns lauded by different generations, with Djokovic ascending to the same lofty heights.

In 2018 at the Nitto ATP Finals, John Isner, second only to Ivo Karlovic in career aces, rated Djokovic as the “No. 1 and No. 2 and No. 3” top returners he has ever played.

More than one shot is needed to enter the GOAT conversation, but a contender for Djokovic’s trademark stroke would be his backhand down the line on the backfoot — either during a baseline exchange or as a passing shot.

Indeed, the backhand drew special praise from Federer on the eve of their Wimbledon thriller in 2019.

“If I think of Novak, one thing that jumps out at me, is his jump back and to the left,” said Federer, edged out in five sets two days later. “How he’s able to defend on that side, which I think has won him numerous matches and trophies. He does that better than anybody.”

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ne must veer in another direction, though, away from his staunch on-court weaponry, to account for Djokovic’s resilience in matches — as well as in his prolific 19-year pro career as a whole.

Lendl became invincible, at times, after changing his high cholesterol diet, teaming with a sports psychologist and a nutritionist, and prioritising his fitness. The Czech-born American, once tennis’ nearly man after losing his first four Grand Slam finals, was a pioneer. Djokovic just might be a modern-day equivalent.

Tweaking his own food habits reversed his fortunes. Eliminating gluten ahead of the 2011 campaign — a time when going “gluten free” seemingly wasn’t as commonplace as it is today — Djokovic 2.0 arrived, and stayed. “It’s easy to do it for nine months when you are playing well,” remarked Koenig. “But to do it for 12 years like he’s been doing, I cannot imagine the mental discipline that that involves.”

Stalling at one major after opening his account at the 2008 Australian Open, his stunning 2011 season brought three Grand Slam titles, 10 titles overall and a season-opening 41-match winning streak.

Retiring from matches eight times prior to 2011, the number dropped to five thereafter despite an increased workload.

“I had to learn to listen to my body,” Djokovic, whose family, ironically, operated a pizza restaurant in the Serbian ski resort of Kopaonik, wrote in his own book, 2014’s Serve to Win. “Once I did, everything changed. You could call it magic. It felt like magic.”

For his mental game, not to mention wellbeing, he meditates, practises yoga, visualisation, pilates (has there ever been a men’s champion as flexible as the nearly 35-year-old?) and conscious breathing. The latter helped ease his problematic allergy issues, dovetailing with the dietary adjustments.

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Given all his mind training, when Djokovic said after the 2019 Wimbledon final that he tried to envisage the partisan Federer crowd calling out his name instead of the Swiss’, it wasn’t a throwaway, humourous line.

Djokovic didn’t commit an unforced error in any of the three tie-breaks, prevailing 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-12(3) in five hours for the fifth of his six crowns at SW19.

Also, it marked the third time Djokovic topped Federer at a Grand Slam after saving match points.

Djokovic boasts superior head-to-head records against Federer and Nadal, accounting for 57 of the 1,000 wins. The lone player to get the better of them at least twice in their respective strongholds of Roland Garros and Wimbledon? Djokovic.

“At a technical level, when Djokovic has been at the top of his game, I have to say that I’ve been up against an invincible player,” Nadal admitted in 2017.

From 2011-2021, Djokovic’s record of 146-39 in deciding sets — a 79 per cent win rate — is further testament to his ability of outdoing opponents when the tension peaks.

Djokovic once said he might play until he is 40. With his meticulous methods and skill, he must be more likely than most to get there and pad the win count.

“To last this long and win title after title, that’s something that only the great champions do in any sport,” said Troicki. “I consider him one of the greatest athletes in the world ever. I’m proud to know him.”

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How Scarlett Johansson’s ‘Black Widow’ Costumes Were Custom-Designed for Comfort

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Costume designer Jany Temime says working on Marvel’s “Black Widow” was a dream job. She doesn’t know the exact number of costumes she created, but it was “a lot.”

The costume designer who counts “Judy,” “Skyfall” and six of the Harry Potter films including “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I and II” among her credits, turned to the Russian and Norwegian armies and the circus for “Black Widow” for design inspirations as new characters such as Yelena (Florence Pugh) and the Red Guardian (David Harbour) are introduced.

Temime also inherited Scarlett Johansson in the title role, whose costume that had already been established. This time around, she made a few tweaks to allow for comfort, sculpting it to suit a woman’s body.

 

Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff

Here, she breaks down designing those looks.

On Inheriting the Black Widow Outfit and the Marvel Comic Universe

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Scarlett Johansson’s suit got a little more stretch for extra comfort.Jay Maidment

 

 

With the Black Widow costume, I changed a few things and adapted it to Scarlett and her body. When you get the design, you have a computer reality and you have the reality of a woman’s body, and you have to put those two things together.

To make it comfortable, we had the base of the costume made from rubbery fabric. I also added in a design graphic to stop it from looking flat, and that was printed out.

Between the seams, we allowed two to three millimeters of elastic fabric to give some room and stretch because I didn’t want her to feel like she was in something tight. I was so happy to hear Scarlett say that it was the most comfortable outfit.

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The way we cut it too was glamorous, we cut the waist a little higher because you have to model the suit to the body to flatter it.

I also designed the young widow outfits which they gave me carte blanche with, and again, they were enthusiastic about it. It was such a collaboration and so dreamy. I also understood what [director] Cate Shortland wanted and her vision, especially for that opening sequence.

Introducing Yelena and the White Suits

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Since Yelena came from Russia, I looked at it from a different point of view. I looked at photos of the Russian and Norwegian army and I came across some of the soldiers in the snow wearing white, and that’s where the white uniform idea came from – also they pick up their “father” in the show so I thought that would look gorgeous.

I wanted her outfit to be more functional and more army-like. I used double fabric with cotton and nylon stitched together gave it volume which had this sportswear look to it. Her look was less of a superhero than just a normal one.

We also had to introduce the green vest. She says in the film she bought this vest with all those pockets, and the idea was that she had come out of that brainwashed spy world, and buys that. So, I made something easy to wear, sturdy, practical and based on post-‘50s sportswear fashion.

When you look at the women in their different suits, I hope you can feel and see the difference between Russia and the USA.

Scarlett’s white suit was made from similar fabrics used on scuba diving suits – that’s what gave it a rubbery look.

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And again, I printed other aspects of the costume to make it interesting and to create that lift so it didn’t look flat and boring, and just to cut that monotony of plain rubber-coated fabric.

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Scarlet Johansson’s “Black Widow” suit was printed to give it more dimensionality.Courtesy of Marvel Studios

The Red Guardian

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David Harbour’s helmet was inspired by the look of a human cannonball at a circus.Courtesy of Youtube

I wanted to design something that reflected what the Soviet Union thought America was. So, there was this superhero design with this primary color of red, that helmet that looks terrible with that piece under the chin, and it was so old fashioned, almost like an old-fashioned comic.

That helmet was inspired by those guys who are shot out of cannons at the circus.

David was amazing. I created it for him and on him. He is the sort of actor who could feel the part from the inside out. He didn’t mind being slightly ridiculous as long as you get the effect, especially in that sequence where he is trying on the costume for the first time and it’s so tight.

 

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Tiger Woods arrives at Adare Manor in JP McManus’ helicopter ahead of Pro-Am

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Competing against Woods on 4 and 5 July will be a stacked field of golfers that includes 10 of the top 11 players in the world

Tiger Woods arrived at Adare Manor on Sunday ahead of the JP McManus Pro-Am.

Tiger Woods

Woods came on JP McManus’ private helicopter to the Irishman’s estate, where he will play in the two-day tournament alongside three members of the Smurfit family.

A video shared by the DP World Tour on Twitter showed the 15-time major winner arriving on McManus’ helicopter, which is usually seen at horse racing meetings up in both Ireland and the UK.

McManus has attracted ten of the top 11 players in the world to his Limerick estate for the tournament, which takes place on July 4 and 5.

And world number one golfer Scottie Scheffler will tee off alongside Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary on Monday,

Niall Horan, Bill Murray and Jamie Dornan are among a host of celebrity names set to take part in the tournaments.

Competing against Woods on 4 and 5 July will be a stacked field of golfers that includes 10 of the top 11 players in the world.

Adare Manor will also host the 2027 Ryder Cup

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Forget Serena Williams’ zebra outfit, ‘human highlighter’ Rafael Nadal is raising eyebrows

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Serena Williams arrived at Roland Garros with a zebra-striped outfit, but Rafael Nadal’s “ugly” shirt also got a lot of people talking.

After wearing a black catsuit at the 2018 French Open that got the tongues wagging so much so that the French tennis bosses all but banned catsuits, Williams opted for something different this year.

Here it is if you haven’t seen it yet.
Serena Williams zebra outfit

Some people liked it.

 

Some didn’t like it.

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Rafael Nadal admits his mistake against Lorenzo Sonego, “there are codes that we must respect”

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Nadañ called Lorenzo Sonego to the net to complain

Rafael Nadal became the seventh player aged 36 or older to reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon.

Rafael Nadal vs. Lorenzo Sonego Wimbledon Odds, Pick, Prediction (July 2)

However, during the game, Nadal called Lorenzo Sonego to the net.

The Spaniard tennis player pressured the Italian to agree to close the roof, and complain about Sonego’s extensive screaming.

In the middle of the third set, Nadal told Sonego to stop faking his scream while the Spaniard volleyed.

During the press conference, Rafa Nadal said he made a mistake.

Match Result: Rafael Nadal vs Lorenzo Sonego: Rafa marches on

“I think I was wrong,” Rafa mentioned.

“I spoke to him in total calmness. I exposed the situation that was happening. If I needed to go back, I wouldn’t do it again,” Nadal continued.

“I told the referee before. The referee, who is one of the bests, was waiting until the change of service to tell him something.”

“Were are among colleagues, we see each other every week. There are codes inside a tennis court that must be respected. I believe I was wrong for calling him to the net and telling him the things.”

“I should’ve told him when we switched (serves) or wait until the referee told him,” Nada said.

Rafael Nadal Doesn't Fall for Nick Kyrgios's Bag of Tricks - The New York  Times

Rafa making history:

Rafa Nadal is the seventh player aged 36 or older to reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon.

Despite the difference in the scoreboard, there was an argument on the court.

Nadal said Sonego extended his screaming on purpose to discomfort Nadal’s game.

Sonego shouted after hitting the ball.

Rafa Nadal: When I wake up I don't have the pain I had for a year and a  half | Marca

Rafa, at 36 years and 29 days old, has stopped time, especially since he seems to have found an antidote for his injured left foot.

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Nadal will rest to prepare for his clash against Botic van de Zandschulp scheduled for Monday.

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Dijana Djokovic reveals the most difficult match of Novak’s to watch

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The mother of World No. 1 Novak Djokovic says watching her son at the Wimbledon singles final last year was the most difficult time she has had while watching her son play in his career. Djokovic came back from match points down to defeat Roger Federer in a classic five setter to win the Wimbledon title in July even as the whole stadium seemed to cheer for the Swiss legend.

They write terrible things about Novak Djokovic because he bothers them,  says mother Dijana

Dijana was speaking in an interview with the Serbian portal “Blic Sport” on the program, “Mothers of Champions” “I saw a lot of his matches, but Wimbledon was the most difficult last year. In a stadium where everyone was cheering on Roger Federer, we were just a handful of fans for Novak.

When Federer had two match points, I reached for my cross from the Don river. I am a believer, I wear the amulet all the time, it often saved me in difficult moments. I said to myself, ‘Nole, you can do it, you’ve done it twice, you can do it again.’

 

He did it. He was saved by God. Novak also believes in God, he feels chosen. He carries a cross that brings him peace and happiness. It is from the Greek monastery Hilandar. He says his prayers morning and evening,” The mother of the 17-time Grand Slam champion also recalled another painful defeat – at the Rio Olympics in 2016, where he lost to World No.

Dijana Djokovic reveals the most difficult match of Novak's to watch

1 Juan Martin del Potro in the first round. “The defeat at the Olympics in Rio still breaks my heart. Novak is a happy child and has no problem crying. But the tears at that time were the biggest I have ever seen with him.

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He had all the prerequisites to win gold. The wish was not granted to him. He had this elbow problem and couldn’t stand the pressure. He felt that he had disappointed the people in Serbia. We were both very emotional. Maybe he got that from me – sometimes I curse quite a lot.”

Dijana also gave some insight about some of the early health problems that Novak suffered during his career. “At the beginning of his career, Novak had many health problems. Because he had to give up a few matches, he was often attacked by the public or by tennis experts.

Djokovic racks up 80th Wimbledon win - Global Times

He had a curvature of the nose wall, it was difficult for him to breathe. After an operation, things went better. In 2010 he was found to be intolerant to gluten. It made life difficult for him. He had to give up in Australia because of the heat.

Then his bleeding toe in Paris in 2007: after playing for five consecutive days, he gave up the semi-final against Nadal. Then everyone accused him, including John McEnroe! I had bandaged his foot the night before the duel. In the morning he could barely walk in slippers.

I advised him not to go to the court, he absolutely wanted to get an injection. Then he beat Nadal 6-2 in the first set. Novak took a medical timeout between sets to bandage the wounds. When Nadal saw the blood, he knew what was going on and then chased him into every corner until Novak had to give up.”

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