The seven-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic is through to the last eight for the 11th time in Melbourne, beating Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to stay on the title course. The Serb couldn’t play on the level from the previous two matches but it was more than enough to control the pace and the scoreboard from start to finish, getting broken only once and earning four breaks from eight chances to seal the deal in straight sets and move into the next round.
Talking with Todd Woodbridge after the encounter, Novak had the opportunity to tell the fans more about his son Stefan and his first tennis steps, with the five-year-old often hitting with his dad in Monte Carlo or all over the world when he travels with him.
Djokovic revealed Stefan already recognizes Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, his dad’s biggest rivals, alongside some other players, having a chance to share the court with them. Without pushing him into anything, Novak allows Stefan to find his own path and enjoy every moment of it, not rushing him into tennis yet.
Stefan’s favorite shot is forehand, hitting the most balls from that wing with the simple reason that he was born with the backhand, which sounds perfectly reasonable, considering who his father is. “So far, it has been great in terms of a tennis relationship between my son and me; he is willing to play with me, Djokovic said.
“You know how it is, father and son, it is a little bit different; he is exposed to tennis a lot when he travels with me but also on the TV. He knows what is going on, knowing Roger and Rafa and a couple of the other guys.
His favorite shot is forehand so far but I’m trying to get him to hit some backhands; he has been telling me he is born with a backhand, that’s why. I’m giving Stefan all the time and space that he needs in the world.
I really want him and my daughter to express an honest desire to take the racket and the ball and just hit, on the court or against a wall. I would be more than happy and thrilled to support them in their tennis careers and journeys but it is still too early to talk about it – my wife says.”
Question looms over Vanessa Bryant lawsuit against Los Angeles County: What does she want?
The widow of Kobe Bryant wants retribution for what happened last year after her husband and daughter died in a helicopter crash.
But what kind of retribution? And how much?
Vanessa Bryant is suing Los Angeles County, accusing county sheriff’s and fire department employees of improperly sharing photos of dead bodies from the site of the crash that killed nine, including the NBA legend.
As the case heads to trial in February, perhaps the biggest question hovering above it is what her goal is for it.
Andy Murray’s wedding ring and shoes returned following Indian Wells disappearance
Andy Murray’s wedding ring and tennis shoes have been recovered after they seemingly disappeared in the California desert.
The three-time major winner is preparing for action at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells and left his tennis shoes outside underneath his car to dry out overnight – but they were nowhere to be seen when he returned in the morning.
And it was only when his physio asked about his wedding band that he realised he had left the ring tied to his shoes.
In an Instagram video posted late on Thursday, which was shared on Twitter by the ATP Tour Murray said: “I just want to send a quick message to say a huge thanks for all the messages and also to everyone for sharing the story about the shoes and the wedding ring.
“(I) had to make a few calls today and chat to the security at the hotel and everything.
“Little update for everyone,” he said as he raised the shoes into view.
“Would you believe it, they still absolutely stink but the shoes are back, the wedding ring is back and I’m back in the good books. Let’s go.”
The shoes are back. 👟
The ring is back. 💍
Let’s go, @andy_murray!!! 💪#BNPPO21 pic.twitter.com/hA5VKX98mm
— ATP Tour (@atptour) October 7, 2021
In an earlier post, Murray light-heartedly appealed for the return of the ring – to help him smooth things over with his frustrated wife.
He explained leaving his shoes to dry out under his car as “I have no balcony in my room and I didn’t want to leave them in my room as it would stink the room out”.
Murray married his long-term girlfriend Kim Sears in 2015 at Dunblane Cathedral. The couple now have four children.
The Scot is due to play France’s Adrian Mannarino in the first round at Indian Wells on Friday.
NASCAR Star Has Brutally Honest Admission On Michael Jordan
Legendary Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan has a very commanding presence, both on and off the basketball court.
In recent years, Jordan has gotten involved in other sports, namely NASCAR. The NBA Hall of Famer is part owner of 23XI Racing, which is co-owned by Denny Hamlin.
The NASCAR team features Bubba Wallace and is adding Kurt Busch for the 2022 season.
Busch, a veteran NASCAR driver, had a brutally honest admission on his meeting with Jordan.
“I mean he is the GOAT. The situation, the way it all came together, it was this impressive meeting out in Sonoma earlier this summer. Right away, I got along with him. Just with the way he was chill but also presented this aura about him. ‘We will win. We are here to win. This is what this is about,’” Busch remembered in an interview with SiriusXM. “And it was like, ‘Yes sir.’ He’s like, ‘Don’t call me sir.’ I said, ‘Alright, let’s win.’”
Busch is excited to get going for 23XI Racing.
“It was just easy right away to piece together what the contract is,” he recalled. “Monster Energy was incredibly excited about it. Toyota, they were the ones behind the scenes, kind of pushing for a veteran to jump in the program and move the needle with 23XI. I’ve raced a long time for a lot of different legendary owners and Hall of Famers in NASCAR. MJ definitely has a different presence about him.”
The 2022 season should be a fun one.