Tag Archives: Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic piles pressure on Rafael Nadal at ATP Finals

10 Nov

He’s not a man.  He’s a phenomenon.

See article.



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A buddy from Novi Sad reminds me to be optimistic: “Оно што радиш на божић, радићеш целе године.”

9 Jan


“Ono šta radiš na Božić radićeš cele godine” — “What you do for Christmas, you will do for the entire year.”

I think that when I start worrying about Djoković’ nervous condition, my friends start to worry about my nervous condition.  So — the timing couldn’t have been better — I posted that piece about Nole’s possible meltdown as 2016 closed, and the day after Christmas, he wins the first of the year’s Grand Slams in Melbourne.  A great start!

(And a great game from Murray too.)


And M. from Novi Sad rushed to send me this Serbian proverb to lift my spirits even higher than they already were.  Nice of friends to think of you.

She actually sent me the proverb in Latin script first, and I asked her for the Cyrillic for the post.  We then bonded around our concern for the use of Cyrillic script, because it actually does bug me in Serbia that so much “public” language uses Latin script.

There’s even a graffiti campaign apparently:


“Write with the Cryrllic.”

Take heed.  It’s a slippery slope.  You write Latin script for this and then for that and then for everything and the Cyrillic gets harder and harder to use.  Then one morning you wake up and you’re Croatian.

And Христос се роди!  Christ is born!  Merry Christmas!  And let’s hope Djok bears out the truth in the proverb.

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And Djoković suffering from a long, late season, Serbian meltdown didn’t make 2016 any better

6 Jan


Maybe Melbourne will be the beginning of a new start, because we know there’s a thin line with him between these flip-outs and professional disintegration; though usually he sadistically tortures us by bringing us to the edge of the abyss, then making some sort of theatrical recovery.

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Novak at Paribas Masters: “…when will love be secure?”

13 Nov

Novak Paribas


My constantly frazzled tennis nerves usually get a rest between the US Open and Melbourne, but Djok beating Murray too in straight sets, even if only at Paribas — it’s getting kind of unnerving.  When your guy’s game is up and down, you worry about his consistency; when it’s become superhuman in the trail of wreckage it leaves behind, then, of course, you start wondering how long he can keep it up.  Such is the human condition.  Never satisfied.  Never at ease.  Never content.

Especially in love.  “When will labor be joyful? when will love be secure?” — Giosuè Carducci…I think…

From the Bleacher Report:

Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray 6-2, 6-4 in the BNP Paribas Masters 2015 final to set a new record for Masters titles won in a single year, grabbing his sixth of the season, per tennis writer Carole Bouchard. The Serb already held the previous record of five, which was set in 2011. 

Djokovic dominated Murray from start to finish, once again showing why he’s considered one of the world’s best returners. Murray held his own in the rallies but never found his serve on the slower hard court in Paris.

Per Sky Sports, the Djoker has now beaten Murray 21 times in 30 meetings, and he’s still unbeaten on indoor hard courts against the Scot. Sunday’s win handed him his 58th career title, via bet365.

Djokovic has been in sensational form since the US Open and he instantly put heaps of pressure on Murray’s serve. Fans in Paris were treated to a 20-shot rally on just the second point, but it wasn’t a preview of what was to come.

Murray barely held his serve in the opening game, couldn’t even steal a point on Djokovic’s serve and immediately gave up three break points in the third game….

See the rest.

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The Dormition — denim shorts at the analoi…

16 Aug


The Dormition fresco at the monastery of Gračanica in Kosovo. (click)

Rebecca West’s description of the fresco and the meaning of the event in the Orthodox Church (s opposed to the Catholic Assumption) is still the most moving and right-on that exists:

“Across one of the walls of Grachanitsa is shown the Falling Asleep of the Virgin Mary, the state which preceded her Assumption, a subject often treated by the Byzantines.  There is no man living today who, exploring his mind in the light of that idea, could draw out so much.

“In the foreground of the fresco is the Virgin lying on her bier.  By the lax yet immutable line is rendered the marvel of death, the death which is more than the mere perishing of consciousness, which can strike where there is no consciousness and annul a tree, a flower, an ear of corn.  Above her bier there shines a star of light; within it stands Christ, taking into his arms his mother’s soul in the likeness of a swaddled child.  Their haloes make a peaceful pattern, the stamp of a super-imperial power, within the angles of the star.  About them throngs a crowd of apostles and disciples, come hastily from the next world or from distant lands to attend the Virgin’s death, wearing their haloes as bubbling yet serene spheres.  On the edge of the crowd stand some bishops in their cross-covered mantles, rock-like with the endurance of the Church, which cannot be perturbed by the most lacerating grief, and still others, also in flowing garments but with bodies liquid with grief, and others, also in flowing garments but with bodies tautened by effort, low under the weight of the bier.  The background is full of angels as the Eastern Church loved to conceive them, ethereal messengers who are perpetually irradiated by the divine beauty and communicate its laws to flesh-bound man, a dream of perfect vision and unfrustrated will.

“The huge imaginative space occupied by this small fresco is washed by two swinging tides. There is a wave of such sincere and childish grief as children feel when their mothers die, that breaks and falls and ebbs; there is a rising sea of exaltation in the Son who can work all magic and cancel this death or any other, making glory and movement where stillness and the end seem to be ineluctable. The sides of the fresco are filled in with buildings, distorted with the most superb audacity in order to comply with the general pattern, yet solid and realistic in effect; we are amazed, as we all so often are during our lives, that our most prodigious experiences take place in the setting of the everyday world, that the same scenery should be used for the pantomine and the tragedy. Behind these buildings there is a firmament which evokes another recurrent amazement. It is the most astonishing of all the things which happen to us that anything should happen at all. It is incredible that there should be men and women, mothers and sons, biers and buildings, grief and joy; it would seem so much more probable that the universe should have as its sole packing empty nothingness. Existence in itself, taken at its least miraculous, is a miracle.”


Cute young cantor in t-shirt and denim shorts at the analoi at Hagia Eirene last night.  (???)   Fine by me.  Especially with the sweetest lyrical tenor.  The cantors at Hagia Eirene in Astoria have become the best without compare in all of New York, and if they’re the best in New York, they’re the best in the United States.  Though this is not the place to get into the pitiful state of ecclesiastic music in most of the Greek Church in America.


I’M SORRY FOR LONG ABSENCE.  THE JADDE WILL SOON BE BACK WITH MORE SERIOUS MATERIAL.  Personal issues and the overwhelming flood of international developments worldwide — especially Djok defending his Wimbledon title against Rolex Federer — left me drowned in more than I could intelligently comment on.  But will be back soon.



Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

Some Valium for Rafa…

30 Mar

From the Guardian: Rafael Nadal admits nerves and loss of confidence after Miami defeat — story pasted below.  The BBC video hasn’t been posted yet, so just reading it doesn’t give you such a good sense of his washed-out-ness or his mangled English (compare it to Djok’s nearly flawless command), but as soon as I find it I’ll post it.


Rafael Nadal has said he is struggling with nerves and self-confidence issues after he was beaten in the third round by his fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco at the Miami Open on Sunday.

“It is not a question of tennis. The thing is the question of being relaxed enough to play well on court,” he said after the 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 loss at Key Biscayne.

“A month and a half ago I didn’t have the game. My game has improved but … I am still playing with too much nerves for a lot of moments, important moments, still a little anxious on those moments.”

Nadal rejected the notion his numerous past injury problems were leading him to doubt his body.

“The physical problems are in the past. I am in competition. I’m playing weeks in a row. Is not an excuse,” he said. “It is a different story today. I am feeling more tired than usual, feeling that I don’t have this self-confidence that when I hit the ball I am going to hit the ball where I want to hit the ball, to go for the ball knowing that my position will be the right one.

“All these are small things that are difficult to explain. One of the tougher things has been fixed, that is the game, in my opinion. Now I need to fix again the nerves, the self-control on court. That’s another issue.

“I am a little bit on and off too much. That is something that didn’t happen in the past.  [It was actually “didn’t happen-ed” or “diren jápenet.]  In the past I have been able to change a lot of situations, negative situations, in my career and I want to do it again. I am confident that I can do it. I don’t know if I am going to do it but I hope I can.”.

With the clay court part of the season coming up, Nadal’s preferred surface, he said the opportunity is there for him to turn his form around but he said that would not happen if he is unable to fix his mental issues.

“The tournaments that are coming are historically good for my game, good tournaments for my confidence,” he said. “But if I’m not able to control all these things, I am not going to have the possibility to compete well and have success in those events.”

See also: Why I can’t stand watching Rafael Nadal win and Why I love watching Rafael Nadal lose and Whatever it is [Rafa], it begins to grate.

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

Stefan Djoković

21 Jan

Now M. is really gonna get on my case for being a ridiculous Djoković groupie

Nobak Sdjokovic628x471(click)

Nothing exciting to report from the Australian Open yet — just the top guys creaming the rest till they get to their inevitable show-down.  But Djoković did declare that he’s going into the 2015 and the Open with his marriage and new son bringing “new meaning” and joy to his life.

“The year 2014 has been the best of my life. I started my family … I feel more satisfied and complete. I am happy to such an extent that it’s hard to express and describe it…”

…Djokovic said in an interview with the holiday edition of the Serbian daily Politika.

Yeah, this is old news.  What I didn’t know — and found moving — is that the kid’s name is Стефан, Stefan, which was the obligatory imperial name of Serbian mediaeval kings: Stefan Nemanjić, Stefan Dušan, Stefan Uroš

Just one of those things that get me a little hopped-up.  Not to mention that this kind of hetero-sentimentality from anyone else would make me throw up.  But hotness has its privileges.

Car_Dušan,_Manastir_Lesnovo,_XIV_vek,_MakedonijaTsar Stefan Dušan, fresco from the monastery of Lesnovo, XIV century.

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com


My man ain’t got ninety-nine problems…just Nadal

12 Dec

hi-res-0c731edbd10be95df90d5dc75b0df971_crop_northJulian Finney/Getty Images (click)

From DNAIndia:“‘I have a problem, his name is Rafael Nadal,’ says Novak Djokovic on elusive French Open title.”

Dunno about Rafa, but a Serb — part Kosovar Serb — saying that about me would make me very nervous.

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

Djoković king of the court: “…a chilling and simple declaration of intent.”

20 Nov

From the Guardian:

1 Novak Djoković

2014 Won 61 Lost 8 Titles 7 Prize money $14,250,527

There is no sensible argument about who is the best player still standing at the end of 2014. Advocates of Rafael Nadal have to acknowledge the dominance of Novak Djoković, below, at least until the Spaniard returns to full fitness, while Roger Federer, sitting just behind the Serb in the rankings after a rousing surge at the end of the season, is now also struggling with a back problem. In the jungle of modern tennis Djoković is not only the best but the strongest. He declared on Sunday, “Right now I’m at my pinnacle in the career. I physically feel very fit. I’m very motivated to keep on playing on a very high level.” That is a chilling and simple declaration of intent. [my emphases]

Serbia's Novak Djokovic has shown that he is top dog when it comes to survival of the fittest.

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Djokovic Reaches 600 Match Wins Milestone

3 Nov

Djokovicshow_image_248.phpEPA/IAN LANGSDON

“Djokovic competes with a flair for the dramatic that is embedded in the fabric of his identity. A 46-time titlist on the ATP World Tour, good for third-most among active players (Federer, Nadal), he boasts a defensive-oriented game that has dominated in an era of titanic servers and baseline bombers. The Serb is an elastic wall at the back of the court that defies the laws of physics, relying on a seemingly impervious transition game to win matches.”

Watch match highlights.

See whole story at ATP World Tour.

novak-djokovicReuters (click)

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