Maria Sharapova’s Earliest Memory Of ‘Fanboy’ Djokovic - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Latest news

Maria Sharapova’s Earliest Memory Of ‘Fanboy’ Djokovic

The recently retired player tells the story of how the two first got acquainted with each other.

Avatar

Published

on

Former world No.1 Maria Sharapova has known Novak Djokovic for many years, but they first got acquainted over dinner thanks to a simple bet.

 

The two tennis stars held a Instagram Live session on Tuesday when they discussed a variety of topics, including one of their first ever meetings. It all started in La Quinta, Indian Wells where they were playing in a exhibition mixed doubles match. Djokovic, who is only 11 months younger than the Russian, challenged Sharapova that if he beat her she would have to take him out for dinner. Which he did, paving way for a friendship to be formed between the two.

“I remember we played this little exhibition. I was young, you were young, way before you had any Grand Slam titles. I don’t know if you’d even won a tournament at that point,” Sharapova recounted.
“You said that if you’d win, I would have to pay dinner. I was like, ‘Okay, whatever, who is this kid?’ You won and you were like, ‘We have dinner tonight. We’re going to the Japanese place!’ I was like, ‘Are you serious? You and me, going to dinner, tonight?’ So we did. We ended up going to dinner and it was so funny because you pulled out I think it was an old Kodak camera and you asked the waiter to take a photo of us… and here we are.”

Djokovic confirmed Sharapova’s version of events by commenting that she was ‘saying the truth.’ Promoting a humorous exchange between the two.

“I think you were fanboying, you had a big fanboy moment.” Sharapova joked.
“I don’t remember anything about that (match), I just remember going to that dinner and this old-school camera comes and the waiter is like, ‘You want a picture, you two?” she added.

Since that occasion, both have risen to the top of the sport. Between them, they have won 22 grand slam titles with the Serbian winning 17 of them. They are also ranked in the all-time top three for prize money earned on the men’s and women’s tour’s. Sharapova is in third with earnings of just over $38 million. Meanwhile, Djokovic has made a massive tally $143.6 million.

Sharapova has hailed how Djokovic has managed to reach the top of the sport after experiencing some physical difficulties during the early part of his career. The Russian retired from the sport earlier this year at the age of 32.

“It’s really admirable to watch you gain this interest throughout the years because I will say, and you’ll probably admit to it, but at the beginning of your career you struggled so much with your body and the length of matches,” she said.
“I remember watching you on the clay and all the cramping and being like, ‘Are you ever going to get your s*** together?’ To see you make a transformation, what I loved about this sport our game and our results really did the talking for us.”

Djokovic is currently residing in Marbella, Spain during the tour shutdown due to COVID-19. Earlier this week he posted a video of him training at a tennis facility in the region, but was later criticised for seemingly breaking lockdown rules. However, it has since been confirmed that the owner of the venue granted him permission to play there by mistake.

Latest news

Rafael Nadal is happy to play again after a challenging period

Avatar

Published

on

Rafael Nadal won his first title of the 2022 season at the Melbourne Summer Set with a 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 win over US serve and volleyer Maxime Cressy last week. 

 

Nadal has not played a Grand Slam match since he lost to Novak Djokovic in a five-set semifinal at last year’s Roland Garros. Last he 20-time Grand Slam champion was sidelined by a left foot injury and lost to South Africa’s Lloyd Harris in his last competitive match in 2021 at the Citi Open in Washington. Nadal played just 29 matches and won two ATP titles in Barcelona and Rome. He also reached three quarter finals at the Australian Open, Monte-Carlo and Madrid and the semfinal at Roland Garros. 

“Unfortunately, I have gone through the situation a couple of times in my career, but you never know. The day will arrive that a comeback will be impossible. I just want to try again, no ? I want to give my best. I want to give myself a chance to keep enjoying this beautiful sport, to keep fighting for the things that I have been fighting for the last 16 years. Sometimes it’s difficult when you are going through a lot of physical issues. It’s been a very challenging time for me. The last year and a half with my foot, I have been suffering a lot. I think I hold a positive attitude and the working spirit all the time. That’s probably why I am here today”, said Nadal. 

At last year’s edition of the Australian Open Nadal lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 4-6 5-7. The Spanish tennis legend will be aiming to win the 21 Grand Slam title of his career. He won the Australian Open in 2009 and finished runner-up four times in 2012, 2014, 2017 and 2019. 

Nadal will start his Australian Open campaign against Marcos Giron, who won the NCAA Division I Championships for UCLA in 2014 and reached the third round at Roland Garros in 2021. 

“When you are coming back from injuries and from a period of time that you are not on the ATP Tour, you need to accept that things are not going to be perfect. That’s the main thing for me, accept that you are sometimes moving a little bit slower, sometimes you are going to miss, sometimes things are not coming that quick and that automatic. You need to think more about how to play, about shots, about technical stuff, but it’s about time. You need to forgive yourself the mistakes and be humble enough to accept the process, accept that sometimes things not going to go that way”, said Nadal. 

Nadal is just happy to be playing again after  very challenging period and admitted that he is not expecting too much from himself. 

“I came here just with the clear goal to be back on the tour, that’s the most important thing. Then if I am able to win matches, improving every single day, it’s fantastic. It has been hard at times to keep motivated because of the latest injury. The most important thing is to be healthy, then hold the passion, that sometimes is difficult when you are going through a lot of physical issues”

Last year and a half I have been suffering a lot with my foot. I think I hold the positive attitude and the working spirit all the time. That’s probably why I am here today. In general terms I feel happy. If you tell me that I am going to be in my position today one month ago, of course I will sign without a doubt the paper saying that I will be in this position. I am just enjoying the practices and be back and feel myself again a professional tennis player. I am playing some good tennis. I really believe that I am healthy and if I am able to play weeks in a row on the tour, have more or less a normal calendar, I will have my chances to be in an important position on the tour and give myself chances to keep fighting for important things”.  

Continue Reading

Latest news

Thanasi Kokkinakis wins his first career title in Adelaide

Avatar

Published

on

Australian star Thanasi Kokkinakis came back from one set down to edge Arthur Rinderknech 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 in his home city after 2 hours and 38 minutes in the final of the Adelaide International 2. 

 

The match was dominated by serve. Kokkinakis hit 18 aces and won 90% of his first serve points. Neither player was able to earn a single break point or a mini-break until the final point of the first set tie-break, when Rinderknech sealed it as Kokkinakis hit a crosscourt forehand into the net. 

The second set went on serve en route to the tie-break. Rinderknech earned an early mini-break at the start of the second tie-break. Kokkinakis rallied from 0-2 down to take a 5-2 lead with three mini-breaks. Rinderknech pulled one mini-break for 3-5,  but Kokkinakis closed out the tie-break 7-5 on his third set point. 

Kokkinakis earned two breaks in the first and ninth games to seal the third set 6-3.  

Kokkinakis reached a career-high of number 69 at the age of 19-year-old player in 2015. This week he came through a three tie-break match against John Isner in the first round and beat Alexander Vukic in a three-set match in the quarter final and a 2-point tie-break against Marin Clic in the semifinal en route to the final. 

“I would not want to win my first title anywhere else. To my family, friends and coaches, what a ride it’s been. You have seen me at my lowest lows and now the highest high. It’s been a serious journey. For now I am so happy. I have been playing on this court since I was eight or nine years,  old, coming here before school every day. I love this court so much”, said Kokkinakis. 

Continue Reading

Latest news

Aslan Karatsev claims his third career title after a straight-set win over Andy Murray in Sydney

Avatar

Published

on

Aslan Karatsev beat Andy Murray 6-3 6-2 to seal the third ATP Tour title in his career at the Sydney Tennis Classic. 

 

Karatsev has won three of his four career ATP Tour finals in Dubai, Moscow and Sydney and finished runner-up to Matteo Berrettini in Belgrade in 2021. Last year the Russian player came through the qualifying round to reach the semifinals at the Australian Open on his debut. He reached a career-high World number 15 after winning his second career title in Moscow last October. He beat Lorenzo Sonego and Daniel Evans in three sets to reach the Sydney final this week. 

“First of all, congratulations to Andy. It’s a big effort to come back, to play unbelievable this week. I want to congratulate your team. Thank you very much to my team. We are doing an amazing job. Thank you very much to everybody here for coming to support. It was an unbelievable atmosphere in a difficult situation. It’s a difficult time to make this tournment happen, so thank you to everyone”, said Karatsev. 

Karatsev earned his first break in Murray’s first service game and consolidated it with a hold at love. The world number 20 hit 14 winners to 4 unforced errors in the opening set. 

Karatsev sealed the first set 6-3 with a double break, as Murray made two double faults. 

Karatsev broke Murray for the third time at the start of the second set to take a 2-0 lead. Murray hit an ace in the fourth game to claw his way back to 1-3 and earned his first break points of the match in the fifth game. Karatsev saved five break points in a 13-minute fifth game to hold serve for 4-1. Karatsev made a double fault on his first match point, but he closed out the win on his second opportunity after 91 minutes. Murray reached his first final since October 2019. 

“I would like to congratulate Aslan on a fantastic week. I know he also arrived here late in Australia. He was recovering from Covid, so it’s even more impressive to come back straight away and play at that level. Good job and all the best for the Aussie Open”, said Murray.  

John Peers and and Filip Polasek beat 2015 Australian Open doubles champions Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli 7-5 7-5 in the doubles final. Peers won the 24th doubles final of his career. Polasek claimed 17 titles, including last year’s Australian Open trophy with Ivan Dodig. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending