Many in Serbia unhappy with Novak Djokovic-Goran Ivanisevic partnership

Published 3:51 pm PDT, Thursday, July 4, 2019

Novak Djokovic

The 15-time major tennis champion from Serbia is defending himself for inviting Goran Ivanisevic, the 2001 Wimbledon champion from Croatia, to join his coaching team at Wimbledon. Serbia’s state-controlled tabloids called it a “scandalous” partnership because Croatia fought a bloody war for independence from Serb-led Yugoslavia in the 1990s and nationalist sentiments still run high. “Goran comes from Croatia, I’m from Serbia. We both come from the country that was once called Yugoslavia,” Djokovic explained. “When I was small and started watching tennis, I watched his match against (Pete) Sampras. Everyone in the region supported” Ivanisevic.

Jackie Groenen

The Netherlands midfielder will go for Women’s World Cup gold with her team against the United States on Sunday, but she has already won gold — in judo. Groenen, 24, is Dutch-born. She scored the winning goal in the semifinals against Sweden. She grew up in Belgium but won two Dutch judo championships at the youth level and another at the under-20 level. After breaking a hip, she committed herself to soccer. As for appearing in the final for the Dutch, she has FIFA to thank. Five years ago, it rejected her request to switch nationalities and play for Belguim. “It’s so nice to be able to play on a team where you get that self-confidence. We’re really good at that,” she said.

Associated Press

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