Serbia's Slobodan Zivojinovic recalls the day he beat US tennis legend McEnroe in the 1985 Australian Open quarter-final
Bangalore: Even as Novak Djokovic gave Bangalore a miss, Slobodan Zivojinovic lent 'star power' to the Serbians as he trudged onto the court.
John McEnroe rants at the referee during the Australian Open quarters clash against Slobodan Zivojinovic. Pic/Getty Images
The 51-year-old 'Bobo', though a far cry from his old fit self, still displayed the touch that had the Serbian team in practice burst into cheers.
A big-server in his heydays in the 1980s and 90s, Zivojinovic is one of the irresistible characters that gives tennis its credence to individuality. One of his best moments came when he beat John McEnroe in the 1985 Australian Open quarters. And it wasn't without drama.
"John McEnroe likes a bit of controversy," Zivojinovic recalls on the sidelines of the Davis Cup World Group playoff tie between Serbia and India.
Slobodan Zivojinovic during the 1988 Wimbledon. Pic/Allsport UK/Allport
"He was having an argument with the umpire, ranting on. I just put my feet up and had a sandwich in the middle of the court. I just joined some spectators and had a sandwich with them.
I let him finish his performance. Of course, that pissed him off even more. It was nice that I beat him 6-0 in the fifth set."
India will be fielding a weakened tennis team for the Incheon Asian Games. While Leander Paes had indicated that he will withdraw, Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza pulled out in a bid to improve their rankings by gaining crucial points from events that clash with the Asiad.
"It's very unfortunate but I have to concentrate on the doubles events in Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur. My ranking has slipped to 35 and therefore I decided to give the Asias a skip,'' said Paes, the defending champion in the Japan Open.