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Novak Djokovic: ¿Héroe o villano? El culebrón con Australia y sus consecuencias en la reputación del 1 del mundo

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Novak Djokovic parecía al fin haber conquistado el corazón del público durante el último Abierto de Estados Unidos, pero su rocambolesco paso por Australia, donde las autoridades anularon nuevamente este viernes su visado, podría confirmar su impopularidad a pesar de su extraordinario currículum deportivo.

Y eso que el serbio de 34 años lo tiene todo para ser un ídolo de masas: afable, respetuoso, disponible, gracioso, patriota, buen padre de familia, inteligente, cultivado, políglota…Se buscan razones objetivas para explicar el desamor el público, que a menudo le escamotea sus aplausos. Una minoría ha llegado incluso a abuchearlo.

El público australiano recorre las instalaciones del Melbourne Park, que tiene una gigantografía de Novak Djojovic: en las encuestas online, el 80% cree que debería ser deportado y no jugar el Abierto de Australia

¿Es quizás porque es demasiado mecánico? ¿Demasiado previsible? ¿Demasiado defensivo? ¿Sobreactúa mucho quizás? ¿O puede que sea percibido como arrogante? Puede ser, simplemente, que sea demasiado fuerte para el resto.

Tampoco ayudan la debilidad del público por Roger Federer ni la empatía por Rafael Nadal, los dos ‘enemigos íntimos’ de Djokovic en su carrera en el circuito ATP. A un periodista que le preguntó cómo se tomaba ser considerado el “malo” (“bad guy”) en la persecución de Federer y Nadal, Djokovic respondió: “Yo no me considero el malo. Esa es su opinión”.

Secretos y polémicas

Djokovic sigue en plena forma pese a su edad. ¿Su secreto? Un régimen sin gluten desde hace diez años, algo paradójico para el hijo de un pizzero, una cámara de oxígeno para la recuperación, un gurú para los aspectos mentales o visitas a una misteriosa “pirámide” en Bosnia (que en realidad es una colina natural).

Sin embargo, su mala reputación ha ido en aumento durante la pandemia, cuando se ha mostrado escéptico frente a la enfermedad y las vacunas. Su decisión de organizar a mediados de 2020 un torneo en los Balcanes (Adria Tour) pudo nacer con la mejor de la intenciones, pero se convirtió en un foco de infecciones de Covid-19, incluidos él y su esposa, Jelena.

En plena pandemia y durante 2020, Djokovic y su familia organizaron el Adria Tour en los Balcanes, que terminó siendo un foco de coronavirus (se contagiaron hasta el tenista y su mujer) y minando su reputación

Después expresó públicamente sus dudas sobre el programa de vacunación del Covid-19, ganándose el apoyo peyorativo de “Novax”. Pero, junto a las polémicas, Djokovic ha mostrado grandes gestos e invierte tiempo y esfuerzo en su campaña de seducción: bromea con los espectadores, firma muchos autógrafos, no se cansa de posar para fotos con niños…

Además habla inglés excelentemente, alemán, italiano y cada vez un mejor francés. En su primer título en Roland Garros dibujó un gran corazón con su raqueta sobre el polvo de ladrillo y en 2020 regaló su raqueta de la victoria a un niño.

Todo vale para que los chicos consigan un autógrafo con Novak Djokovic

En la cancha, es difícil discutir su grandeza, a pesar de un bajón de forma tras una cirugía de codo hace cuatro años que lo apartó incluso del top 20 del ránking ATP. Pero ahora, el serbio ha conseguido 20 Grand Slams y un total de 86 títulos. Batió el récord de semanas en el número uno mundial de Pete Sampras y ostenta un balance de victorias a su favor tanto contra Nadal como contra Federer.

En septiembre, el público del estadio Arthur-Ashe de Nueva York lo empujó como nunca en su fallido objetivo de lograr el Gran Slam en un año calendario, un apoyo que lo llevó a llorar en plena final.

Pero ese principio de luna de miel chocó con la novela de Australia, su exención médica sin estar vacunado para participar en el Abierto de ese país en una ciudad como Melbourne muy afectada por las medidas de confinamiento, y el embrollo sanitario, político, diplomático y deportivo que le siguió.

Bombardeos sobre Belgrado

Con apenas 7 años de edad ya afirmó a la televisión serbia que quería ser el número uno del mundo. Detectado por la mentora Jelena Gencic, que también le inculcó conocimientos de música clásica o literatura, Djokovic se formó en el Partizán de Belgrado y después su familia hizo un enorme esfuerzo para enviarlo a Alemania.

Nacido en Belgrado en 1987, el joven Djokovic quedó muy marcado por la experiencia de la guerra de Kosovo, cuando él tenía apenas 12 años. Para escapar a los bombardeos de la OTAN pasó dos meses y medio por la noche en refugios antiaéreos… y durante el día estaba en una cancha de tenis, ya que la escuela normal estaba cerrada.

Muy patriota, aunque prefiere tener su residencia en Mónaco, Djokovic acostumbra a defender la imagen de Serbia y se preocupa por tender lazos con los países de la antigua Yugoslavia.

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Actress Regina King’s son Ian Alexander Jr. has died at 26: «Our family is devastated at the deepest level»

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Regina King’s 26-year-old son, Ian Alexander Jr., has died, a spokesperson for the actor confirmed Saturday morning. 

«Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian,» the statement read. «He is such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others. Our family asks for respectful consideration during this private time.»

Alexander Jr. — King’s only child, whom she shared with ex-husband Ian Alexander Sr. — died by suicide, a spokesperson confirmed to The Associated Press.

The two were very close, with Alexander Jr. often accompanying his mother on the red carpet. They even had matching tattoos reading «unconditional love» in Aramaic, the AP reported.

Last year, Alexander Jr. posted a tribute to his mother on her birthday, writing, «To be able to watch you take this lifetime by its neck and make it yours is something i will forever be grateful for. But to have you as my mother is the greatest gift I could ask for. To be all that you are while always having the time to be there, love and support me unconditionally is truly remarkable.»

Alexander Jr. was a DJ who went by desduné. He had just recently released a song called «Green Eyes,» which King posted about on her Instagram last week. According to Alexander Jr.’s Instagram, he had a show scheduled for January 28 in Los Angeles.

King is known for her roles in the movie «If Beale Street Could Talk» and on the television show «Watchmen.» She also directed the 2020 film «One Night in Miami…» She has won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, four Primetime Emmy Awards and two NAACP Image Awards over the course of her more than 30-year career.





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German navy chief resigns over Putin comments

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Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht visits the navy base in Warnemuende, Germany, December 17, 2021. Bernd Wuestneck/Pool via REUTERS

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BERLIN, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Germany’s navy chief stepped down on Saturday after drawing criticism for saying Russian President Vladimir Putin deserved respect and that Kyiv would never win back annexed Crimea from Moscow.

«I have asked Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht to relieve me from my duties with immediate effect,» Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schoenbach said in a statement. «The minister has accepted my request.»

Schoenbach made the remarks to a think-tank discussion in India on Friday, and video was published on social media. The comments came at a sensitive time as Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops on Ukraine’s borders.

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Diplomatic efforts are focused on preventing an escalation. Russia denies it is planning to invade Ukraine.

In New Delhi, Schoenbach, speaking in English, said Putin seeks to be treated as an equal by the West.

«What he (Putin) really wants is respect,» Schoenbach said.

«And my God, giving someone respect is low cost, even no cost… It is easy to give him the respect he really demands – and probably also deserves,» Schoenbach said, calling Russia an old and important country.

Schoenbach conceded Russia’s actions in Ukraine needed to be addressed. But he added that «the Crimea peninsula is gone, it will never come back, this is a fact,» contradicting the joint Western position that Moscow’s annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 cannot be accepted and must be reversed.

Prior to Schoenbach’s resignation, the defence ministry publicly criticised his remarks, saying they did not reflect Germany’s position in either content or wording.

Schoenbach apologized for his comments.

«My rash remarks in India … are increasingly putting a strain on my office,» he said. «I consider this step (the resignation) necessary to avert further damage to the German navy, the German forces, and, in particular, the Federal Republic of Germany.»

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry had called on Germany to publicly reject the navy chief’s comments. Schoenbach’s comments could impair Western efforts to de-escalate the situation, Ukraine said in a statement.

«Ukraine is grateful to Germany for the support it has already provided since 2014, as well as for the diplomatic efforts to resolve the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict. But Germany’s current statements are disappointing and run counter to that support and effort,» Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said separately in tweet.

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Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Catherine Evans and Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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Butler announces retirement

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Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler announced his retirement on Saturday evening in a statement released by the team.

«It is an emotional day as I announce I am retiring from my football coaching career,» said Butler. «I have spent every year since 1990 as a coach in the NFL and the NCAA, but the time is right for me to walk away after a successful career both playing and coaching the game I love.

«I want to thank the Rooney Family, Bill Cowher, Mike Tomlin and all the coaches and players that I have been involved with over my entire coaching career. I look forward to spending more time with my family, whom have been so supportive of me throughout the years. I wish nothing but the best to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and I will be cheering them on during my retirement.»

Butler served as the team’s defensive coordinator since being promoted to that role in January 2015. He had previously served as the team’s linebackers coach for 12 seasons from 2003-14. Butler was a part of two Super Bowl winning teams with the Steelers (Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLIII).

The Steelers lead, or tied for the lead, in overall sacks for the last five years under Butler, setting an NFL record in 2020 when they did it a league-high four years in a row.

In 2020 the Steelers broke an NFL record with a streak of 70 games with at least one sack, breaking the record set by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of 69 straight games with at least one sack (1999-2003). The team extended the streak to 75 games, which is still the NFL record.

He came to the Steelers after an NFL coaching career that began with the Cleveland Browns (1999-2002) and before that in the college ranks at Arkansas State (1998) and Memphis (1990-97).

Butler played in the NFL for 10 seasons (1978-87) for the Seattle Seahawks.

Butler was a three-year starter at inside linebacker for the University of Memphis, leading the team in tackles his junior and senior seasons and being named as Associated Press All-American in 1977.



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