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‘I am humbled’: Wild parties, light show & fireworks as tennis icon Novak Djokovic hails new record on streets of Belgrade (VIDEO)

Serbian icon Novak Djokovic has raucously celebrated his new all-time record for the most weeks as world No1 in men’s tennis, joining a huge street party staged by his devoted fans in Belgrade.

The 33-year-old, who won his 18th Grand Slam last month, has topped the ATP rankings for a record-breaking 311 weeks, beating Roger Federer’s achievement of 310.

Djokovic’s latest stint as the highest-ranked men’s player began in February 2020, when he reclaimed the No.1 spot from his principal rival, Rafael Nadal of Spain.

The player’s remarkable achievement didn’t go unnoticed by his fans, who took to the streets of Belgrade to stage an impromptu party in honor of their idol. Djokovic and his family joined the crowd, watching fireworks in front of the restaurant they own in Belgrade.

The all-time great was spotted singing along with fans outside the restaurant in recognition of his historic feat.

Hundreds of fans chanted, “Nolo! Nolo!” and waved Serbian flags, while a stunning light show displaying the best moments from Djokovic’s career was projected onto Belgrade’s town hall.

After sharing the moment with fans, Djokovic celebrated the new record over dinner with his family and close friends.

Speaking of his pride the following day, Djokovic reflected: “As a kid, I would dream of lifting trophies and being best in the world. The hope was so powerful that it manifested itself against all the odds – finances, injuries, doubts, competing in the era of the biggest champions the sport has ever seen.

“I’m humbled to walk the path of our tennis legends and giants. To know I’ve earned my place among them gives me chills. It’s proof that anything is possible if your heart is in it and you’re championed by a team that never loses faith in you.

“I’m grateful for receiving each and every supportive message yesterday, which still proves to me that sport isn’t just records and trophies. The adversities we face, our highs and lows, the intensity with which we go for crazy, big dreams – all of it connects us deeper to each other.

“We are all together in this game. I’m celebrating this moment and so happy knowing that not only have I reached a huge milestone doing what I love to do, but that I also have many more years ahead of me playing my favorite sport in the world.”

Meanwhile, Spanish veteran Guillermo Garcia Lopez has recalled how his rival made him shed tears in his early days on the way to becoming a player who he describes as near-flawless.

Speaking about encountering the young Djokovic in the second round of Wimbledon in 2005, Garcia Lopez told The Times Hub: “When I came back, I was 6-5 and 40-0 – but he turned that game around and then [came] back. It was one of the few times that I have cried when leaving a court.
Also on rt.com Novak on top: Djokovic hailed as he surpasses Roger Federer’s record for most weeks spent as world number one
“Novak is a phenomenon and a good person. He shows pain more than others, and that sometimes feels bad.

“I remember playing against him in Estoril and, when the game was very even, he stopped for 10 or 15 minutes because he said he couldn’t see well. He was gone for ages.

“People do not quite understand how someone is able to recover when a moment ago he was not able to walk or his shoulder fell. I think he has a higher [pain] threshold than the others.

“I fully understand that…he likes to show his problems. He’s warm-blooded, Balkan, he gets nervous.”
Also on rt.com Novak Djokovic closes in on eclipsing Serena Williams run as Serbian tennis ace admits ‘relief’ at equaling mammoth Federer record
Unsurprisingly, Garcia Lopez rates his countryman Nadal, Djokovic and fellow great Roger Federer as “different souls” in the sport.

“He is a misunderstood idol,” the former US Open finalist said of Djokovic. “Who should set an example? He must do what he believes and feels. Nobody should act like a robot.

“Perhaps he has little filter when it comes to speaking and he says what comes to mind – maybe not like you would say to a friend.

“But if he wants to say something, he says it and that sometimes takes its toll on [your reputation]. In any case, no one can argue that he is one of the best in history.”
Also on rt.com ‘He was sent by god’: Novak Djokovic’s dad accuses media of ignoring Serbian superstar and says he is ‘loved by all normal people’


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Real Madrid give Man Utd green light to complete Raphael Varane transfer this summer

Manchester United’s interest in Real Madrid star Raphael Varane has received a huge boost as the La Liga giants have reportedly conceded that the defender will leave the club this summer.
Real were keen to extend Varane’s contract beyond 2022 but the centre-back is unhappy with the salary on offer.

Los Blancos do not want to risk losing their key defender for free so they are willing to cash in this summer, according to the MEN.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is desperate to bring in a permanent partner for £80million man Harry Maguire.

Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof have had varied success this season but neither are seen as the long-term solution.

Varane has been high on Ed Woodward’s wishlist for many years and the United chief is now the closest he has ever been to landing his target.

The MEN add that Varane is unhappy that Real’s contract offer is financial worse than many of his well-paid team-mates.

Zidane has apparently agreed for a captaincy clause to be included in the deal to tempt Varane to extend his 10-year stay at the Bernabeu.

Current skipper Sergio Ramos could depart the Spanish capital at the end of the season.

However, Real are not confident that Varane will accept their terms and are preparing for an approach from United.

“And our transfer plans, of course, we have long-term plans and I feel my squad now is more and more full of younger players that can improve.”

Varane is first hoping to help Real win the La Liga title before deciding on his future.

Real are currently five poins behind table toppers Atletico Madrid, who have a game in hand.

Elden Ring release date news: Light at the end of the tunnel for From Software fans

It looks like Elden Ring developer From Software is getting ready to reveal more about the upcoming adventure game.

A collaboration between From Software and Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin, Elden Ring has been missing in action since it was unveiled during the 2019 E3 event.

Information has been so hard to come by that some fans believe it may have been cancelled.

Fortunately, however, a new report suggests that Elden Rings is about to make a comeback.

That’s according to industry insider Jason Schreier, who said that the game will be shown “relatively soon”.

“I know lots of people are desperate for Elden Ring news,” Schreier tweets.

“I don’t know much about it (except that it’s been delayed a bunch). But there is strong evidence floating around that the game will be shown relatively soon. It’s not going to pull a Winds of Winter. Elden Ring has pages.”

There are even reports that Elden Ring will make an appearance during an imminent Xbox gaming event in March.

However, Microsoft has since denied the rumours, telling fans that no such event is planned for March.

“Just to set expectations: this is not happening,” Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg reveals. “There are always things we have in the works, but nothing coming soon that would feature game announcements or world premieres like this.”

Recent leaks suggest that Elden Ring will take inspiration from Norse and Celtic mythology.

The gameplay is said to be similar to previous From Software games such as Dark Souls and Bloodborne, although the world will be much bigger.

Elden Ring is said to have dynamic weather and a full day/night cycle, which means you could begin a battle in sunshine, before the weather changes to thunder and lightning.

It sounds like there will be at least two factions to side with, including a race of giants with red hair (as seen in the trailer), and another with white hair.

What we do know for sure about Elden Ring is that the fantasy adventure game is a collaboration between From Software’s Hidetaka Miyazaki and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin.

“Unparalleled adventure awaits in Elden Ring, the next epic fantasy title created by From Software, Inc. and Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc,” reads the official description.

“Elden Ring is From Software’s largest game to-date and is set in a sprawling realm steeped in a rich and bloody history crafted by Hidetaka Miyazaki – creator of the influential and critically acclaimed DARK SOULS video game series; and George R.R. Martin – author of The New York Times best-selling fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire.”

Rumours suggest it will be released this spring, which means we should get some official information in the coming weeks and months.