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Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic Become Besties



It is no secret that Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have coexisted less comfortably in this elongated era of Big Three dominance in men’s tennis than Federer and his friendly rival from Spain, Rafael Nadal.

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic - StraightNews

Since Djokovic emerged as a force 11 years ago, there have been flashes of bad blood between their camps; accusations of rule flouting; hints of lucky shots.

Then came this weekend’s Laver Cup, the second edition of the Federer-created team competition that pits Europe against the rest of the world. It showed how friendly but fierce rivals, in keeping with the professional tennis era of good feelings, could become friendlier still.

Ten minutes into their first time playing doubles together, on Friday night, Djokovic, after serving in the third game, pegged Federer in the lower back with a forehand.

“To team up with somebody of his caliber is just a treat,” said Federer after he and Djokovic lost their doubles debut to Kevin Anderson and Jack Sock, 6-7(5), 6-3, (10-6).

Federer, 37, with a men’s record 20 Grand Slam titles, copped to uncertainty about sharing the Laver Cup experience with Djokovic, whose wins at the United States Open and Wimbledon this summer elevated him back into the chase-for-history debate. At 31, he owns 14 majors.

“It’s definitely not as straightforward as with Rafa, where I knew it was going to be always O.K.,” said Federer of his relationship with Djokovic.

Djokovic, from Serbia, and Federer, from Switzerland, have met 46 times since 2006. Over such a stretch, which Djokovic leads, 24-22, some controversy is almost inevitable.

An outsider would have been troubled to discern their tepid relational history had they parachuted into Chicago last week. The stars teased each other on social media, with Federer asking Djokovic if he would recreate the iconic lift scene between Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in the film “Dirty Dancing.”

They joked with each other in interviews. They shared team dinners, offered counsel and cheered on teammates while discussing everything from match strategy to child rearing to tour politics. There was Federer hovering behind Djokovic’s bench and doling out advice during Djokovic’s loss on Saturday night to Anderson, who is from South Africa. (Djokovic, despite his hot form, went 0-2 in his maiden appearance at the Laver Cup, though Europe won for a second consecutive year.)

The competition’s chummy, bromance-heavy atmosphere did little to detract from the competitive juice during play. Matches were tight, hard-fought and enthralling. Eight of 11 were settled by the 10-point match tiebreaker. Both teams squandered multiple match points, including five by Team World in three matches they lost.

Chicago had not hosted a top-level men’s tennis event since 1991. It drew 93,584 fans, easily surpassing last year’s figure of 83,273. The reception at the United Center, home of the N.B.A.’s Bulls and N.H.L.’s Blackhawks, was loud and appreciative.

Whether the Laver Cup can secure a permanent place in a crowded tennis calendar that faces a glut of new, revamped and resuscitated team events in the coming years remains to be seen. But enthusiasm from fans, sponsors and, most of all, players positions it well. Seven of the top 11 players in the world rankings suited up, though Nadal, No. 1, and Juan Martín del Potro, No. 4, sat out with injuries after expecting to play.

“If somehow tennis was like this every week of the year, it would be so much more enjoyable,” said Nick Kyrgios, the animated and unpredictable 23-year-old from Australia.

Tennis in the pre-professional period bred a certain camaraderie exemplified by the close-knit group of Australians — Rod Laver among them — that traveled the world with rackets in one hand and postmatch libations in the other.

The opening of the sport to professionals in 1968 escalated money and prestige, which have made it trickier to remain cozy at the top.

John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, the combative American stars who shared the stage from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s, detested one another. In the 1990s, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi kept a disdainful distance.

Those tensions have eased, especially among the current crop of stars. Changing demographics is one reason. Players compete longer. Many are now parents, including Federer and Djokovic. Perhaps with age comes perspective.

Federer participated in the ribbon-cutting nearly two years ago when Nadal opened a tennis academy in Majorca. Nadal played against Federer in his first Match for Africa charity event in 2010.

That bipartisanship had not been the case with Federer and Djokovic until last week, when Federer attended a breakfast for the Novak Djokovic Foundation.

Federer said he and Djokovic were not about to “go on vacation together” after spending a few days on the same team. Familiarity has risks. McEnroe recalled when Connors called him out of the blue to practice before the 1982 Wimbledon championship, and then beat him.

“He had gotten slightly more familiar with my game, and that helped him,” McEnroe said.

Federer views friendly rivalries as a benefit to the game.

“I see myself also as a fan, as someone who wants to improve and learn,” he said of Djokovic. “Being close to a champion like him, it’s just exciting.”

On Friday, Federer expressed disappointment that after losing, he and Djokovic could not depart with an unblemished doubles record.

“We have to play again,” Djokovic interjected.

That coupling appears more possible than ever at a time when the lines of friend and foe are increasingly blurred.


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



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



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



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”



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



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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