Novak Djokovic meditates to ‘lose fear and stress’

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during their men’s singles third round match against Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas on day six of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 20, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 21 January 2018
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Novak Djokovic meditates to ‘lose fear and stress’

MELBOURNE: Novak Djokovic says meditating has helped him overcome fear and stress that comes with playing elite tennis.
The 12-time Grand Slam champion, 30, says he often turned to the practice during his long spell out of the game last year with elbow trouble.
The Serb former world No.1 is playing in his first tournament since Wimbledon in July and he has a brand new support team, headed by eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi as coach.
Djokovic said after reaching the fourth round of the year’s opening Grand Slam on Saturday that he now meditates on a daily basis.
“Yes, I do. I’ll tell you what. I don’t want to tell you what I gain with it, but I’ll tell what I lose with it,” he said.
“I lose fear. I lose anxiety. I lose stress. I guess, in the end of the day, that’s what you’re looking for.”
Djokovic has become involved in meticulous off-the-court preparation in recent years. He has a strict, gluten-free diet and is an advocate for well-being.
The new year has given him the opportunity to analyze aspects of his game and preparation.
“When it comes to tennis, I obviously was excited to analyze my game,” he said.
“First of all, I wanted to get the right team of people around me, experts in their field, so they can contribute to the process and the journey of working on my body and my game.
“Improving different aspects that are there to be worked on. Thankfully there is always something to work on.”
Djokovic said apart from tennis he has always looked at ways to improve himself, which he terms his “philosophy of life.”
“It has always been, not just for tennis, but in general there’s always something that you can improve and get better at as a person and as a player,” he said.
“That’s probably the most exciting thing about life, is that every day is a new opportunity for you to get better.”
Djokovic faces South Korea’s “NextGen” star Chung Hyeon in Monday’s round of 16.


Arsenal open US tour with 3-0 friendly win in Colorado

Updated 16 July 2019
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Arsenal open US tour with 3-0 friendly win in Colorado

LOS ANGELES: Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli scored in his Arsenal debut Monday as the English Premier League club launched their pre-season tour of the US with a 3-0 friendly win over the Colorado Rapids.

Bukayo Saka and James Olayinka also scored for the Gunners, who cruised to victory at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in suburban Denver.

Martinelli, the 18-year-old forward signed from Ituano on July 2, was given a surprise start in attack by Unai Emery and sent an early chance wide.

Saka, 17, was an energetic presence and put Arsenal up 1-0 in the 13th minute as he collected a through-ball from Eddie Nketiah.

Another teenager — 18-year-old Olayinka —  doubled the score in the 29th, seizing a stray pass from defense and racing in to fire into the top left corner of the net.

Martinelli, having missed his early chance, capped the scoring in the 61st when he slotted home a cross from close range.

The Rapids, in the midst of the Major League Soccer season, fielded a mostly reserve side that featured several players from the lower-rung Colorado Springs Switchbacks.

Arsenal, too, started a reserve team as they begin their build up to the Premier League season after again failing to secure a Champions League berth.

The tour has not started without controversy. Captain Laurent Koscielny refused to travel to the US, and a group of influential Arsenal supporters’ organizations published a statement on Monday hitting out at Stan Kroenke’s “passive ownership.”

Under a hashtag “WeCareDo You” the statement decried a “soulless” atmosphere at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and a lack of transfer strategy.

Kroenke, who began investing in the club in 2007 through his company Kroenke Sports Enterprises and took full ownership in 2018, also owns the Rapids as well as the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams.