Novak Đoković wins his 40th Masters title and secures his position of World No 1 for the end of the year. Nikola Jokić stays in double digits, while LEN are still searching for a new European Championship alternative. This and more in this week’s Recap.

Djokovic Paris
This is Novak’s 7th Paris Masters title. Photo: ATP Paris

Đoković broke another record, stepping further away from Federer and Nadal. Given that Federer has only 28 Masters titles, while Nadal remains at 36. No surprise today, as Novak beat Dimitrov (6:4, 6:3) in an absolutely routine final. World Top Seed entered the final match reinvigorated after intense stomach issues in the tense semifinal, his 58th.

The Paris audiences were’t exactly happy, but some still fail to appreciate the greatness they are witnessing.

Jokić holds a firm MVP grip of the NBA

This week featured the (in)famous In-Season Tournament. While the franchises competed in who has the least watchable court and the ugliest color patterns, the excessively bright shine didn’t impede Nikola Jokić from showing his top performance.

The Serbian centre may not have spent the entire Summer practising ball, but he most clearly cares about his team coming first. Two wins in two days and two double-doubles (33/14/9 and 28/16/9).

The Nuggets match against the Dallas offered an interesting question: “What if Jokić and Dončić were to play in the same squad?”. The double-doubles would be off the charts! As well as the Serbian music at warmup. 🙂

Given the Mavs’s lack of championship stability and Luka’s star power, this fan dream isn’t that far-fetched at all. How about that…

Brazil replaces Argentina in Belgrade

As Yago Mateus has become a Red Star fan favorite, the flags of his native Brazil are replacing last season’s popular Argentine flags. The Celeste and Whites were displayed in support of Campazzo and Vildoza. Mateus scored the key three-pointer in Zvezda’s win over Bayern (74:68) in the packed Arena.

This week in the Euroleague marked a half and half for the Serbian teams. Partizan was defeated by Baskonia (84:83) in a match that was tight until the very end. A symbolic win for Baskonia’s four-time coach Duško Ivanović and former Zvezda chief, who scored his first W back in Vitoria only days after being reinstated.

The ABA part of the week was much simpler for both sides, as Zvezda beat Budućnost (95:86) and Partizan ousted Split (76:83).

LEN confirms the upcoming European Championship won’t be held in Israel

In an official statement the European aquatics governing body states: “Following extensive meetings between European Aquatics and the Israeli Water Polo Association, both institutions have agreed that it will be impossible to host the European Water Polo Championships in Netanya, Israel, as planned in January 2024.”

As SidelineSRB already reported, other alternatives are being explored.

Remaining in the waters of water polo, Partizan are still unable to hold regular training sessions. They cannot play nor train at the Banjica pool. It is still empty. Gathered earlier in the week around this empty pool were parents, coaches, staff and board members. Speaking of the training conditions for the youth teams, as well as the future of the club itself.

Partizan Water Polo
Photo: Partizan Water Polo

The position of water polo has always been a complex one on a global level, which is why we look at Japan, both in context of the sport itself, and the additional context of Women’s sport.

Japan undermining the role of Women’s Water Polo

The Japansese Women’s National team won’t be traveling to Doha in 2024. The Japanese federation won’t be sending the squad due to “financial constraints”. The players found out… Through the news. The one-sided decision caused a stir on various social media platforms. So far, not enough to cause any change. The male squad will compete at the Worlds as previously planned.

Making sure we wrap up the week well, we thank Nemanja Majdov

The Serbian judo staple became the new European Champion (-90kg category) at the Judo Euros held in Montpellier! Majdov beat Geogria’s Bekauri for yet another success of the season.

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