— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) February 2, 2020
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) February 2, 2020
We just watched the longest final in Wimbledon history at 4 hours and 55 minutes.
Roger Federer's 94 winners are his most ever in a Grand Slam final.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 14, 2019
John Updike, the great American author, made the following observation: “Professionalism in art has this difficulty: to be professional is to be dependable, to be dependable is to be predictable, and predictability is aesthetically boring — an anti-virtue in a field where we hope to be astonished and startled and at some deep level refreshed.”
I wonder if it is this sentiment that underpins the lack of affection for Djokovic. Is he too dependable? Too predictable? Does his game lack that element of surprise that is so central to, say, Federer? If so, allow me to suggest that dependability contains its own kind of beauty. To watch this unique athlete hitting groundstrokes deep and true, returning serves with solidity, chasing down balls with those elastic legs, is a privilege.
One must surely admire his journey, too. He lived his formative years in the devastation of war-torn Belgrade, spending 78 straight nights in a shelter as Nato bombs rained down during the Kosovo campaign. He was almost killed by the precision bomb of an F-117 bomber, which levelled a building a few yards away. There have been other upheavals, not least in tennis where, for many years, he had a body that broke down at critical moments.
Today, dependability is not just an approach to tennis, but a kind of sanctuary. His phenomenal work rate, on and off the court, is an elusive search for shots that never miss, never fragment, never let him down. Yesterday, he looked as implacable as two years ago, when he won four straight slams and had a stranglehold on the game. He is not just one of the greats of tennis, but of sport.
Read it all (subscripiton).
Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic is not boring – he is a true sporting great pic.twitter.com/CDqPXAOOM9
— NeuroTracker (@NeuroTrackerCSi) July 16, 2018
Novak Djokovic’s U.S Open title allowed him to clinch the year-end No. 1 ranking for the fourth time.
The ATP announced Monday, a day after Djokovic’s 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory over No. 2 Roger Federer in the final at Flushing Meadows, that the 28-year-old Serbian would add 2015 to 2011, 2012 and 2014 as seasons he finished atop the rankings.
“Knowing I will end the year at No. 1 keeps my mind relaxed,” Djokovic said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I have achieved a lot so far in the season, and I hope I can deliver the same game for the rest of the year.”
What an amazing second set tiebreaker!
Stanislas Wawrinka shocked world number one Novak Djokovic 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4 to win the French Open and claim his second Grand Slam title.
There were no jeers this time as Swiss Stan Wawrinka defied the odds to win the French Open with a courageous 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4 victory over world number one Novak Djokovic in an enthralling final on Sunday.
The eighth seed, booed by the crowd when he played French opponents this year, handed Serbian Djokovic his third defeat in three Roland Garros finals to add a second major to his 2014 Australian Open title.
“I played the match of my life, it’s hard to believe. Playing against Novak was one of the biggest challenges. I know how much he wanted this Roland Garros,” Wawrinka said courtside.
“It was a crazy atmosphere these two weeks. I’d like to thank you.”
In 1967, as part of the Communist campaign to make Albania an “atheist state”, the 400-year-old church at LaÃ§ was destroyed with explosives. Until then it had borne an inscription recording its consecration in 1557 by “Giovanni Bruni, Archbishop of Bar”.
Bruni’s extraordinary life (and more extraordinary death) feature in a remarkable new book by Sir Noel Malcolm, the Oxford historian. With unpublished manuscript evidence, it paints a portrait of the Bruni family, before and after the battle of Lepanto in 1571. What distinguishes the book is the way it integrates their tale into the power struggle between Spain and France, Venice and Rome, and, that behemoth of the Levant, the Ottoman Empire, ruled from 1566 to 1574 by Selim II (pictured here). The soldiers, spies and clerics of the Bruni family were among the Agents of Empire of the title. I can’t tell you how good it is, a future classic. My purpose here, though, is not to review the book but to mention a single fascinating chapter.
Giovanni Bruni was an Albanian speaker, born at Ulcinj (now in Montenegro), then part of Venetian Albania. In the little city of Bar, of which he became Archbishop in 1551, there were 18 churches, with another 48 in the rural parts of the diocese, which extended into the regions beyond the coast occupied by the Turks. Among Bruni’s titles was Primate of Serbia. But, if his task was great, his income was pitiful.