Monday 23 October 2017

Novak Djokovic has all right moves to serve up more success

Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams disco-dancing to the Bee Gees
Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams disco-dancing to the Bee Gees

Paul Newman

With his supreme athleticism, gluten-free diet and love of meditation Novak Djokovic is the epitome of the modern sportsman, but the Wimbledon champion was determined to revive one of the All England Club's most famous traditions on Sunday evening.

The Champions' Ball, where the newly-crowned men's and women's singles champions traditionally danced together, was replaced nearly four decades ago by the more sedate Champions' Dinner. But in the imposing setting of the Guildhall, in the City of London, Djokovic and Serena Williams turned back the years.

In a very different scene to when Chris Evert and Bjorn Borg danced the last dance at the Grosvenor House Hotel in 1976, Djokovic and Williams disco-danced on stage to the Bee Gees' "Night Fever", to loud acclaim.

The morning after the night before, Djokovic explained that he had suggested resurrecting "this tradition which was a bit forgotten" to Philip Brook, the Wimbledon chairman, and to Williams, the six-times women's champion. "Fortunately they accepted it," Djokovic said. "I was very pleased because Serena is a great dancer."

He added: "I was thinking more of a waltz, or something I would say sophisticated, something that would blend into the environment of the beautiful hall where we had dinner. But Serena wanted to move a little bit more, so then we considered other options."

The dance lasted no more than a minute or two, but at the rate Djokovic is going he should have plenty more chances to revive the tradition.

This was the 28-year-old Serb's third Wimbledon title and his ninth Grand Slam triumph. He still has a long way to go before he can contemplate matching the exploits of the man he beat in Sunday's final, Roger Federer, who has 17 Grand Slam to his name, but Djokovic is improving with every passing year.

"There is always room for improvement and I think that is something that is positive and keeps me going," Djokovic said.

"My serve has improved and has served me very well during this tournament and the last year or so. Working with Boris (Becker), I think that part of my game has significantly improved and allowed me to get out of trouble many times, especially against Roger yesterday."

He added: "Right now I feel like I'm at the peak of my abilities and career and I want to use that for as long as I can. How long can I go on? I really don't want to predict anything."

Independent News Service

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport