Culture

Djoker!!!

Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who’s the greatest tennis player of all?

Well, it’s a matter of opinion, of course. But speaking as one who has been a tennis fanatic from about the age of seven (fan and player), who has seen most everyone live from Rod Laver and Pancho Gonzales onwards, I would have to say Novak Djokovic.

Living in LA and working normal business hours, and having had a tough week anyway, I went to sleep at about 12:30AM, even though I suspected the forthcoming Nadal-Djokovic final in the Australian Open that was about to start in Melbourne would be epic. Restless, I awakened an hour later, went upstairs to watch the two superstars already pummeling each other at the end of the first set, before falling asleep again after an hour or so.

When I finally awoke at 6:30, it was barely over. The two men men had been playing for five hours and fifty-three minutes, before Nola finally prevailed yet again. (For context, the longest previous major final was nearly an hour shorter.)

Talk about fitness. This is like running a couple of marathons while batting a ball back and forth at a hundred miles per hour.

Tiger Woods once called Roger Federer the greatest athlete in the world. Move over and make room for Novak Djokovic – and Rafa Nadal as well. It’s no surprise when these guys pull their shirts off at the end, they are ripped. People used to think of tennis as a namby-pamby gentlemen’s sport. Forget it. These guys could run rings around just about anybody in the NBA and have energy to spare.

A couple of other things about Djokovic. He seems to be a fabulous guy with a great sense of humor. Besides his unbelievable tennis, his winning persona has allowed him to do something else extraordinary – become the face of Serbia, erasing the evil visage of Slobodan Milosovic.