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Sunday, July 19, 2015

the blue tit that challenged Champion Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon

“From where I come from, from the capital of Serbia, Belgrade, there’s a special sparrow bird called jivjum. I believe this bird came all the way from Belgrade to help me.” -  Novak Djokovic on the invasive Centre Court blue tit in the opening match of the tournament !

The Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)  is a small passerine bird in the tit family Paridae. The bird is easily recognisable by its blue and yellow plumage, but various authorities dispute their scientific classification.  Eurasian blue tits, usually resident and non-migratory birds, are widespread and a common resident breeder throughout temperate and subarctic Europe and western Asia in deciduous or mixed woodlands with a high proportion of oak.

At Wimbledon, this year, it was easy for the  World no.1 Novak Djokovic as he claimed his third Wimbledon crown  defeating no.2 seed and seven-time former champion Roger Federer in four sets 7-6 (1), 6-7 (10), 6-4, 6-3 on Centre Court. Novak capitalised on four of his 10 break points, while the Swiss converted one of his seven chances. The match-up was the 40th between the pair, they are now tied 20-20.

Federer broke first for 4-2, but Djokovic broke back immediately and held to level. The Swiss kept pressing and earned two set points with Nole serving at 5-6, only for the Serb to save both with big serves. Novak forced a tie-breaker and took the first three points of the shootout, raising his game to race through it for 7-1. The real excitement came towards the end of the second set, when both players produced their best tennis. The top seed failed to convert seven set points, as Federer fought to level the match at one set apiece, sealing dramatic tie-break 12-10. Nole recovered superbly from the disappointment of missing the chances, hitting back to win the third and fourth sets. One championship point was all he needed to clinch the victory after two hours and 55 minutes of play.

This is not about the finals, but more of the start – the 1st match of his – of course little opposition he had from Philipp Kohlschreiber on Centre Court – and he finished him in straight sets winning 6-4;6-4;6-4.  In between came an unusual threat – not from the opposite player but from a small bird which Nole himself described as - 'bird from Belgrade'  that had  the best seat in the house at Wimbledon 2015.

As Novak Djokovic began his title defence at Wimbledon with a straight sets victory, there was an amusing halt to proceedings in his opening match with Philipp Kohlschreiber. A blue tit, who the world No 1 claimed was a fan of his tennis, took the opportunity to gatecrash the match as Djokovic lined up a serve early on in the match.  The fun didn't last for long though, as a ball boy scuttled over to hurry the bird off court so the match could resume.

 The bird originally flew onto the side of Philipp Kohlschreiber on Centre Court before flying over to Djokovic.  The Serb took it all in good heart though as he lowered his racket to help the bird move off the court – and then came the tweets :
For those watching Novak Djokovic v Philipp Kohlschreiber at home! I have the best view! #Wimbledon2015#Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/yGt58QNuYo
— CentreCourtBird (@Centrecourtbird) June 29, 2015
Did anyone else see Djokovic try to splatter me! He must know I'm trying to distract him!
— CentreCourtBird (@Centrecourtbird) June 29, 2015

However, it was not long before the bird had its own Twitter account, supposedly professing its support for Djokovic's opponent. After originally appearing not to take a shine to the Serb, it warmed to him, with a picture of Djokovic smiling and trying to help out by lowering his racket appearing on the Twitter feed. Djokovic, who spoke to the bird, claimed the visitor as a fan afterwards. ‘From where I come from, Belgrade, there’s a special sparrow. I believe this bird came all the way from there to help me.

‘But I was feeling for its safety. I mean, it just loves tennis. ‘At one point when Kohlschreiber was serving at the advantage side, the bird landed literally very close to the sideline. She stayed there until I won the point. So I said, “Be my guest, stay around, if you want”.

The bird from Belgrade really stayed for the entire match – but there are not further reports of it turning again to enjoy Nole winning the Crown.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

19th July 2015.

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