June 14, 2021
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first_imgTumaini Carayol says a 10th grand slam triumph showed us a new side of Novak Djokovic, who had to endure terrible abuse against Roger Federer.–When Novak Djokovic finally captured a career-elevating 10th slam title, the world number one barely managed a celebration.There was none of the infamous hulk-like ripping of his shirt, no manic Serbian swearing to the hostile crowd at large, much less of his dramatic roaring to the skies above, and he didn’t even bother beat his chest like a crazed caveman.Instead, after downing the greatest player of all time in yet another major title match and reckoning with one of the worst and most combative crowds in a career built to the backdrop of hostile fans, Djokovic smiled and pointed to his heart.He soon climbed his player box and embraced his team around him. He was elated, content and those were the only thoughts that appeared to occupy his mind. This seemed a significant moment.For years now, it has been well known and well circulated that Djokovic’s fatal flaw is his seeming obsession with being loved. He wants so desperately to be cheered, embraced and revered. Whenever he comes across any of the many hostile crowds he is doomed to face in the era of Federer and Nadal kool-aid drinkers, he can usually be seen either desperately going out of his way to win the fans over or cursing their mothers – or executing both simultaneously.Against Federer, he was put in a position to do the same as 23,000 fans roared for their ageing champion to triumph one last time.After all these years, the drunken New York crowd that assembled after a lengthy rain interlude conspired to produce one of the most anti-Djokovic crowd displays the Serbian has ever faced. They cheered every last scrap, from errors to simple missed first serves.At times they yelled mid-point as the ball crossed over the net to his side of the court; at other times their hollering forced him to discard serves mid-motion and start all over again.They did their utmost to make life miserable for the only player in the world they know is visibly affected by their taunts no matter the occasion.But for just about the first time in history, Djokovic largely didn’t bite.Throughout the match, he wore his disgust towards the savages surrounding him for all to see. His disdain was etched across his face from start to finish, but the essential difference between the early hours of Monday and previous days is that was as far as he took it. Regardless of the score, his attention was reserved for the tennis and the winning.As the crowd continued their attempts to affect the match, he responded by navigating difficult games with a surgical focus. This could well be the making of Novak Djokovic. After his match, when asked for the umpteenth time in recent years about the blatantly disrespectful crowds, he repeated his most recent stock line of response to the topic.“I accept the fact. You know, everybody has a choice to support a player that they want to support, and [Federer] absolutely deserves to have the support he does because of all the years and success that he had and the way he carries himself on and off the court. No question about it,” he said.“Me, I’m there to earn the support, and hopefully in the future I can be in that position.”But the reality is that it’s beginning to look like Djokovic may never be in that position. Regardless of what he does and how he behaves, even when he isn’t being branded arrogant and aloof for the minor transgressions he committed years ago as a youngster, to many Djokovic will always be the man who swooped in and hijacked the Federer and Nadal party.Even today, four years since he roared into the 2011 season and snatched this era for nobody but himself, some previews before the match still laughably branded the nine-time slam champion and undisputed world number one as the “antagonist” in this rivalry.Meanwhile, one major publication compared the “majestic” Federer with the apparently “robotic” Djokovic in the same outrageous breath.Sometimes it’s intentional and many times it isn’t, but the language used to describe Djokovic by fans and the media alike so often manages to undermine his credentials and his place in the game at every turn. The significance of Djokovic’s US Open victory cannot be overstated.It doesn’t merely place him alongside the elite of the elite with his slam tally reaching double figures, it doesn’t simply wrap up what will go down as one of the greatest seasons of all time, and it doesn’t merely punctuate the season that has indelibly etched his name in the history books as an all-time great with an exclamation mark.More than anything, this year has made it clear beyond any doubt that Novak Djokovic is at the height of his glorious powers with only an ageing 34-year-old and Federer’s omnipresent fans his greatest current rivals.The slams he could win and the history he could chase over the coming seasons are endless.With that in mind, it could just be that his new-found ability to finally accept he cannot change the way the crowd responds to him may play a decisive role in how many more times he scales to his player box with nothing but a smile and a victory on his mind. –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. 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first_imgSporting News will track every accepted bowl bid through Sunday, and we will have picks against the spread soon after the schedule is revealed. Here’s the full schedule for all 40 bowl games, including the College Football Playoffs and national championship:2018-19 bowl schedule DateBowlTime/TVDec. 15Gildan New Mexico Bowl: North Texas vs. Utah State2 p.m., ESPNDec. 15AutoNation Cure Bowl: Tulane vs. Louisiana2:30 p.m., TBDDec. 15Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl: Fresno State vs. Arizona State2:30 p.m., ABCDec. 15Raycom Media Camellia Bowl: Eastern Michigan vs. Georgia Southern5:30 p.m., ESPNDec. 15R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: MTSU vs. Appalachian State 9 p.m., ESPNDec. 18Cheribundi Tart Boca Raton Bowl: UAB vs. Northern Illinois7 p.m., ESPNDec. 19DXL Frisco Bowl: Ohio vs. San Diego State8 p.m., ESPNDec. 20Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl: USF vs. Marshall8 p.m., ESPNDec. 21Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl: Toledo vs. FIU12:30 a.m. ESPNDec. 21Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Western Michigan vs. BYU4 p.m. ESPNDec. 22Birmingham Bowl: Memphis vs. Wake Forest12 p.m.., ESPNDec. 22Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Houston vs. Army3:30 p.m., ESPNDec. 22Dollar General Bowl: Troy vs. Buffalo7 p.m., ESPNDec. 22Hawai’i Bowl: Hawaii vs. Louisiana Tech10:30 p.m., ESPNDec. 26SERVPRO First Responder Bowl: Boise State vs. Boston College1:30 p.m., ESPNDec. 26Detroit Bowl: Minnesota vs. Georgia Tech5:15 p.m., ESPNDec. 26Cheez-It Bowl: TCU vs Cal 9 p.m., ESPNDec. 27Walk-On’s Independence Bowl: Duke vs. Temple1:30 p.m., ESPNDec. 27New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Miami vs. Wisconsin 5:15 p.m., ESPNDec. 27Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl: Vanderbilt vs. Baylor 9 p.m., ESPNDec. 28Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Purdue vs. Auburn1:30 p.m., ESPNDec. 28Camping World Bowl: Syracuse vs. West Virginia5:15 p.m., ESPNDec. 28Valero Alamo Bowl: Washington State vs. Iowa State9 p.m., ESPNDec. 29Chck-Fil-A Peach Bowl: Michigan vs. Florida12 p.m., ESPNDec. 29Belk Bowl: Virginia vs. South Carolina12 p.m., ESPNDec. 29Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl: Arkansas State vs. Nevada1:15 p.m., CBSSNDec. 31Military Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech12 p.m. ESPNDec. 31Hyundai Sun Bowl: Pitt vs. Stanford2 p.m.., CBSDec. 31Redbox Bowl: Michigan State vs. Oregon3 p.m., FOXDec. 31AutoZone Liberty Bowl: Missouri vs. Oklahoma State 3:45 p.m., ESPNDec. 31Holiday Bowl: Utah vs. Northwestern7 p.m., FS1Dec. 31TaxSlayer Gator Bowl: N.C. State vs. Texas A&M7:30 p.m., ESPNJan. 1Outback Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Iowa 12 p.m., ESPN2Jan. 1VRBO Citrus Bowl: Penn State vs. Kentucky1 p.m., ABCJan. 1PlayStation Fiesta Bowl: UCF vs. LSU1 p.m., ESPNJan. 1Rose Bowl Game: Ohio State vs. Washington5 p.m., ESPNJan. 1Allstate Sugar Bowl: Georgia vs. Texas8:45 p.m., ESPNCollege Football Playoff schedule DateBowlTime/TVDec. 29Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic:  Notre Dame vs. Clemson 4 p.m., ESPNDec. 29Capital One Orange Bowl: Alabama vs. Oklahoma8 p.m., ESPNJan. 7College Football Playoff championship7 p.m., ESPN The 2018-19 college football bowl schedule features 40 games between FBS teams, including the College Football Playoff bowls, that concludes with the championship game at Levi’s Stadium on Jan. 7. This year’s CFP semifinals will be played on Dec. 29 at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic in Arlington, Texas, and the Capital Orange Bowl at Miami Gardens, Fla. last_img read more

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