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Djokovic and Jokic put Serbia on top of the world

Published on June 22, 2023
Updated on November 6, 2023
Chris
Written by Chris

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Djokovic and Jokic put Serbia on top of the world

Serbia sat on top of the sporting world last week as two of the country’s biggest stars triumphed within days of each other in major events. Serbia despite having only 6,690,887 inhabitants, has a great love of sport and a fantastic sporting tradition. And the Balkan country has seen two of its citizens involved in historically significant sporting moments.

Novak Djokovic claimed his record breaking 23rd Grand Slam title by winning the French Open at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris on Sunday June 11. And within a couple of days Denver Nuggets, inspired by Nikola Jokic, secured their first ever NBA championship.

Djokovic bags Grand Slam Number 23

Djokovic defeated young Norwegian Casper Ruud 7-6 (7-1), 6-3, 7-5 in the men’s final at Roland Garros, to move one clear of Rafa Nadal to win his 23rd Grand Slam after the pair had been tied on 22. Djokovic has been part of a golden era in tennis along with Nadal and Roger Federer. The trio have set incredible standards in terms of quality of play and longevity and while the debate over who is the greatest will surely go on, Djokovic leads in terms of major titles.

Jokic Inspires Nuggets to First NBA Title

Denver Nuggets had never won a championship in 47 years in the NBA and it was Jokic who led the team from the ‘Mile High City’ to win its first Larry O’Brien Trophy. Known as the ‘Joker’, Jokic has been playing the best basketball of his career. He won the regular season’s Most Valuable Player Award in the previous two years and this time round was second behind Joel Embiid. In the postseason Jokic recorded 10 triple-doubles to break a 56-year-old record that was held by the legendary Wilt Chamberlain. In the Finals he led his team in points, rebounds and assists, and was deservedly named the MVP award for the finals as he inspired the Nuggets to their maiden NBA win.

Hard work maximises talent

It is clear that both men have had to put the hours in to reach the top of their respective sports. Back in 2005, Djokovic quit during his second-round match at the 2005 French Open and stopped after losing the first two sets of his quarterfinal the next year at Roland Garros against Rafael Nadal, citing a bad back. Blisters, dizziness, sore throats and difficulty breathing also hampered him over his career.

But more emphasis on fitness and diet have ensured that Djokovic can now outlast opponents in grueling matches well into his 30s, allowing him to make the most of his undoubted abilities.

For Jokic, a disappointing loss in the 2019 playoffs inspired him to place more emphasis on fitness and conditioning. He is now reaping the rewards.

It remains to be seen what more both Serbian sportsmen can achieve in the months and years to come.

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Chris

Chris is a former athlete and a qualified PE teacher. He is a keen football fan, watching many matches at different levels throughout the season, and enjoys following many different sports. With betting and sports sites, he has a keen eye for detail and can to highlight positives and negatives for users. His experience in sport as a performer, teacher, writer and fan allows him to see things from many different perspectives.

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