Djokovic: "Today, I Retire for Serbia"


Credit to @JMR
Note: this is a stupid joke, guys. Try to have a sense of humor

When American baseball legend Joe DiMaggio was once asked why he played so hard in a meaningless, end-of-season game, the star replied, "There might be somebody out there who's never seen me play before."

Serbian tennis hero Novak Djokovic shares this sense of duty, this proud determination to give fans everywhere his very best. The lanky Serb has treated tennis lovers around the world to some of most spectacular mid-match retirements his sport has ever seen. Although still in his early 20s, Djokovic already has achieved retirements at four of the four Grand Slam tournaments — a Hall of Fame credential in the making. But until today, he had never managed to quit in front of his most loyal fans.

"I know the Serbian people want to see me quit," Djokovic explained in the afterglow of his Serbia Open retirement to countryman Filip Krajinovic. "Fans stop me in bars, on the street, and ask, 'Nole, you quit in Paris, you quit in Melbourne — why you not quit in Belgrade? It would make us so proud to see you retire,' they say to me. 'I am trying, I am trying so hard' — that is all I can tell them."

It takes luck to find the right opportunity to retire in a tournament you desperately want to retire in, but stars have a way of making their own luck. Djokovic sensed early on that this could be the year to make his fans' dreams come true.

"This morning when I get up, I feel sick, but I worry — am I sick enough? Maybe I can make it all the way through the match; that would be no good for me, no good for my fans. But when I leave hotel, a small boy calls to me, 'Quit for your people! Adje Nole! Quit for Serbia!'"

Djokovic needed no further inspiration. Trailing 4-5 in the first set, he converted his very first quit point at 15-30. The crowd seemed stunned at first, then erupted with joy. Many fans wept openly.

"Today, I show people what is in here," exclaimed Djokovic, thumping his chest with his fist. Today, I retire for Serbia!"

Serbian tennis fans can rest easy tonight. Their beloved quitter has come home.
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