Jelena Djokovic Speaks Out On Dealing With The Media Spotlight - UBITENNIS
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Jelena Djokovic Speaks Out On Dealing With The Media Spotlight

Being the wife of a tennis superstar isn’t always as good as everybody thinks.

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Jelena and Novak Djokovic (image via https://twitter.com/jelenadjokovic)

The wife of world No.1 Novak Djokovic has opened up about the difficulties of living in the public eye and the growing influence of social media.

 

Jelena Djokovic spoke out about the issue in a rare interview with Serbian website Vesti Online. The 33-year-old admits that she has found it tough to deal with constant media scrutiny over the years due to her husband’s achievements in sport. Novak is a 17-time grand slam champion and has won 78 ATP titles. Regarded as one of the greatest tennis players in modern history, he is a member of the prestigious Big Three along with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

“When you are young, the spotlight and attention certainly feel comfortable.” She told Vesti Online.
“At first, the experience does not alarm you because it can bring you some difficulties. We look at public figures and think that kind of publicity is okay.
“But as time goes on, you lack anonymity, you lack the privacy to be able to do whatever you like at any time, in any situation.
“I try to resist all these expectations to always be myself and for Novak to be able to be himself.”

Some of the issues Jelena has had to deal with in the past include media speculation surrounding the strength of her marriage. A series of outlets had linked Novak to Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone back in 2016 after the two were spotted together attending the event. Numerous theories have also surfaced online regarding her previous absences from grand slam tournaments.

Perhaps the most difficult comments she had face has been ones directly made about her appearance.

“That is probably why I am being criticised by the public ‘why didn’t I wear makeup’ or ‘why wasn’t I always wearing heels.’ She said.
“But I decided that between the way I see and love myself and what the public expects, I choose not to disappoint myself.”

Jelena believes it is harder to maintain a private life due to the growing influence of social media. The director of the Djokovic foundation currently has more than 127,000 followers on Twitter.

“The development of technology and social networks have contributed to making the lives of public figures available at all times.” She explained.
“I am aware that as a wife of a popular athlete I might be interesting for the tabloids, that is why I try not to give them much material to write about me.”

There is no chance that Jelena will be having a quieter life anytime soon with her husband remaining at the top of his sport for the foreseeable future. The two started dating back in 2005 and got married in 2014. They have two children called Stefan and Tara.

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Neil Stubley: “It is impossible to host Wimbledon in late summer because the courts would become slippery”

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Wimbledon groundsman Neil Stubley explained to the British newspaper that the change of date was not possible at the All England Club. It is impossible to stage Wimbledon in late summer. Wimbledon became the highest-profile tennis tournament to be called off due to the coronavirus. The All England Club confirmed that the 134th edition of the Championships will be held from 28th June to 11th July 2021.

 

According to Stubley it is impossible to host Wimbledon in late summer because the courts would become slippery much earlier than in July. It would shorten the window for matches making it extremely difficult to organize many matches between 11.30am to 17pm.

“In late summer the sun gets lower in the sky. The dew point on the grass arrives earlier and the courts get slippery. The window for play becomes shorter at both ends. As much as it would be lovely to play in late summer and autumn. It’s not possible. We have indeed staged Davis Cup matches in September, but the the play would start at 11.30 or noon and finish by 5pm. Whereas, at the Championships, you are going from 11am until 9 pm every day. To get through 670 matches over 13 matches is a challenge in the height of summer, let alone at other times of the year”, said Stubley.

Stubley said that he will miss the adrenaline rush he gets on the first day of Wimbledon.

 “One of the beauties about my job is that to showcase my work to the world every day. When the eyes of the world are looking to how Centre Court is for that first day of the Championships, it’s always a nervous feeling. It will be a funny feeling, through June and July, not to have that adrenaline rush again”, said Stubley.

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‘He Did Everything I did, Only Better’ – Pat Rafter Names The Toughest Rival Of His Career

The two-time grand slam champion opens up about his toughest rivalry as he predicts a bleak outlook for the 2020 tennis season.

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Former world No.1 Pat Rafter has named an American tennis legend as the player who he struggled the most against throughout his professional career.

 

The 47-year-old was a star of Australian tennis during his playing days after achieving a series of milestones. His accolades include becoming the first player from his country in 28 years to reach the top of the ATP rankings in 1999 and becoming the first man to win the Rogers Cup, Cincinnati Masters and US Open within the same year. Rafter is also the last player outside of the Big Three to have won back-to-back US Open titles after triumphing in 1997 and 1998.

Despite his successes, there was one player that caused him difficulty. Rafter played Pete Sampras 16 times on the ATP Tour, but could only win four of those encounters. At one stage he lost to the 14-time grand slam champion eight times in a row.

“The toughest player I played against was definitely Pete Sampras – he did everything I did, only better.” Rafter told Eurosport.
“His record was the best so there’s no doubt about it Sampras the stand-out. I enjoyed playing Andre Agassi the most – I thought we had a really good battle, I really enjoyed playing him.”

The rivalry between the two was tense at times. Highlighted best by their encounter in the 1998 US Open semifinals. Sampras complained of a quadriceps injury following his loss to the Australian. Prompting Rafter to famously say ‘he’s becoming a bit of a crybaby.’ A few months before that comment, he admitted that his relationship with the American wasn’t solid by saying ‘We’re not the best of mates. I wouldn’t go out for a beer with him, put it that way.’

22 years on from the verbal exchange between the two, Rafter now describes it as a thing of the past. Insisting that his rival never took what he said to him ‘personally.’

“I can’t remember the exact words, but we had a run-in in Cincinnati one year – I probably told him to grow up.” He recounted.
“He cracked it when I beat him one time. But that was back in the old days, emotions were running high and don’t take it personally. It’s all good.”

No tennis in 2020

Besides reminiscing about his playing career with Eurosport, Rafter has also predicted a bleak outlook for this year’s tour. All professional tournaments have been suspended until July 13th due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For the first time since 1945 Wimbledon has been cancelled due to the situation.

Many are now speculating as to when it will be possible for the tour to resume. The US Open is still optimistic that they can hold their tournament as scheduled later this summer. Meanwhile, the French Open is set to be played during the later part of September. However, Rafter doubts that either of those tournaments will happen.

“No, I think this (the virus) is going to be around for a long time.” Rafter commented on the chances of the 2020 season resuming. “Until they get a vaccine I can’t see how anyone is going to be playing.’
“Personally, I think it’ll be like the flu and we’ll have to get used to it.”

Potentially one solution for the tournaments would be to host matches without spectators. In order to minimise the risk of the virus spreading. An approach that has already been taken by other sports such as football. However, Wimbledon refused to consider that option this year.

“I think they could. No spectators. Sure. No ball-boys – I’d love to see the players pick up the balls themselves!” he concluded.

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Judy Murray: “Wimbledon faces big challenges in terms of postponising it”

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The ATP and the WTA have extended the tour suspension due to the coronavirus outbreak until 13th July as Wimbledon was called off for the first time since the Second World War in 1945.

 

Judy Murray, former British Fed Cup captain and mother of Andy and Jamie Murray, explained why it was hard for Wimbledon organizers to postpone the tournament at the All England Club and find a new date in the calendar.

“I think the calendar is already starting to become congested towards the end of the year because everybody who has had tournaments cancelled is fighting for spaces to try to complete the season as best as they can. I think one of the big challenges for Wimbledon is that it’s played on grass, which is not an artificial surface and also the further that you go on in the year or down in the calendar you have less light and of course Wimbledon has just two covered courts. I think there are big challenges in terms of postponing it”, said Judy Murray on BBC Breakfast. 

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