Many in Serbia unhappy with Djokovic-Ivanizevic partnership

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic with coach Goran Ivanizevic during practice at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon, London. (Reuters)
Updated 04 July 2019

Many in Serbia unhappy with Djokovic-Ivanizevic partnership

  • Serbia’s state-controlled tabloids called it a scandalous partnership between the top-ranked Serb and the former Wimbledon champion from Croatia
  • Djokovic, whose mother was born in Croatia, had faced similar public criticism when he said he would support Croatia after Serbia exited last year’s soccer World Cup at the group stage

BELGRADE, Serbia: Novak Djokovic is again under scrutiny in his native Serbia — this time because of inviting Goran Ivanizevic to join his coaching team at Wimbledon.
Serbia’s state-controlled tabloids called it a “scandalous” partnership between the top-ranked Serb and the former Wimbledon champion from Croatia.
Croatia fought a bloody war for independence from Serb-led Yugoslavia in the 1990s and nationalist sentiments still run high in both countries.
“Goran comes from Croatia, I’m from Serbia. We both come from the country that was once called Yugoslavia,” Djokovic said, explaining his decision to recruit Ivanizevic. “When I was small and started watching tennis, I watched his match against (Pete) Sampras. Everyone in the region supported him (Ivanizevic).”
Djokovic, whose mother was born in Croatia, had faced similar public criticism when he said he would support Croatia after Serbia exited last year’s soccer World Cup at the group stage. Croatia went on to the final where it lost against France.
Pro-government Belgrade tabloid Informer quoted former NBA center Darko Milicic as saying that Djokovic’s move to hire Ivanizevic is “an insult to his fans.”
Milicic said that whenever Djokovic “displays outbursts of love for Croats” he should think of his Serbian fans “who have gone through harassment, expulsions and loss of their loved ones during the war.”
The tabloids printed an interview Ivanizevic had with the New York Times during the war in which he was quoted as saying he wished “to have some Serbs standing in front of me” while he had shooting practice with a machine gun.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, a former ultranationalist, took a softer line: “It is good for our country that Novak Djokovic has good relations with Ivanizevic so that the past clashes are overcome.”
Ivanizevic, who won the men’s singles title in 2001, has told Serbian media he received “a rather unexpected call” from Djokovic ahead of the grass court tournament.
“It’s all unusual,” Ivanizevic said, adding he was trying to postpone some obligations that may force him to leave Wimbledon in the second week.


Sri Lanka 244 all out in 1st innings of 2nd test vs New Zealand

Updated 24 August 2019

Sri Lanka 244 all out in 1st innings of 2nd test vs New Zealand

  • New Zealand batted for two overs and went to lunch on the third day at one run without loss
  • Sri Lanka won the first test by six wickets in Galle and looks to sweep the two-test series

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: Dhananjaya de Silva scored his fifth test century to rally Sri Lanka from trouble and reach a competitive 244 runs in the first innings of the second test against New Zealand on Saturday.
New Zealand batted for two overs and went to lunch on the third day at one run without loss.
De Silva walked in to bat when Sri Lanka was 93 for four and saw quick wickets fall at the other end pushing Sri Lanka to 131 for six. He survived at nine when fast bowler Trent Boult dropped an easy high catch off his own bowling; but he made good his luck and held the Sri Lanka innings together facing 148 deliveries hitting 16 boundaries and a six.
He shared 41 runs with No. 8 batsman Dilruwan Perera (13) and 43 runs with Suranga Lakmal (10) at No.9.
Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne made 65 while opening the batting.
Sri Lanka resumed day three at 144 for six and left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel trapped Perera lbw for New Zealand’s first breakthrough for the day.
Fast bowler Tim Southee continued his good run from the second day, taking two more wickets to finish with four for 63. Boult had three for 75.
Sri Lanka won the first test by six wickets in Galle and looks to sweep the two-test series.