Serbian superstars dominate sports headlines on back-to-back days

Jokic and Djokovic

It has been quite the last 48 hours for the Serbian sport scene as tennis player Novak Djokovic won the 2023 French Open on Sunday, and then a day later Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets won the 2023 NBA Finals. For a population of 6.834 million, what Djokovic and Jokic have been able to accomplish is quite simply spectacular.

Record 23rd Grand Slam Title

When Djokovic defeated Casper Ruud of Norway 7-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the French Open final on Sunday at Roland Garros, he won his 23rd grand slam singles tennis tournament. That is the most ever men’s singles grand slam titles and one more than Rafael Nadal of Spain, who has 22.

Djokovic, a native of Belgrade, also became the oldest French Open men’s singles champion of all-time. At age 36 years and 20 days, he was 18 days older than when Nadal won the 2022 French Open.

A model of consistency, Djokovic has played extremely well over the years regardless of the surface. He became the first tennis player ever to win each grand slam three times. Of his 22 grand slam titles, Djokovic has won the Australian Open 10 times, Wimbledon seven times, and the French Open and United States Open thrice each. Djokovic is also first in the world now for 388 weeks.

Memorable NBA Playoffs

Jokic, a native of Sombor, Serbia, just led the Denver Nuggets to their very first NBA Finals title in franchise history. The two-time NBA most valuable player, is now a NBA Finals MVP. In five games against the Miami Heat, Jokic averaged 30.2 points per game, 14 rebounds per game, and 7.2 assists per game. He also had a field goal percentage of .583, three-point percentage of .421 and a free throw percentage of .838. In game five on Monday, Jokic had 28 points and 16 rebounds in a 94-89 Nuggets win over Miami to win the best out of seven series four games to one.

Jokic also deserves high praise for his production in the entire 2023 NBA postseason. He became the first player ever to lead all players in a single playoff in points (600), rebounds (269), and assists (190).


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