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.


Premier League set to use VAR from next season

Updated 35 min 52 sec ago
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Premier League set to use VAR from next season

LONDON: The Premier League is set to use the Video Assistant Referee system from next season after clubs “agreed in principle” to the move on Thursday.
During a meeting attended by key members of all 20 Premier League clubs, officials were presented with an update on the non-live VAR trials taking place.
They were also given “key learnings” from VAR’s use in the FA Cup and League Cup this season.
VAR was used at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where 335 incidents were checked by VAR officials, and is already underway in some other European leagues.
A formal Premier League request will now be made to the International Football Association Board and FIFA, the world governing body.
A statement from the Premier League said its testing program would continue for the rest of the season, “with a continued emphasis on those Saturday afternoons which have several matches being played concurrently.”
How VAR decisions are communicated to fans in the stadium will be addressed, with the development of a “clear protocol” to be established.
In April, Premier League clubs voted against the introduction of VAR for the 2018-19 season.
But there have been growing calls from managers and players for VAR to be introduced into the English top-flight for several years.
On Saturday, Southampton forward Charlie Austin called for VAR after he was denied a goal for offside against Watford, a decision he called a “joke.”
Also last weekend, Slavisa Jokanovic, since sacked as Fulham manager, was furious after Aleksandar Mitrovic was denied a goal by a controversial offside decision, with Liverpool going straight down the other end to take the lead.
VAR is used to check goals, penalties — both awarded and not, direct red cards and cases of mistaken identity when a player is wrongly booked or sent off.
The referee has the information relayed through his earpiece by the VAR team.
For some incidents, he can review the footage on a pitch-side television monitor before deciding whether to change his initial call.