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Have a special feeling for India: Slobodan

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OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT   |   Published 12.09.14, 12:00 AM

Bangalore: On Thursday morning, when the draw for the Davis Cup tie between India and Serbia was held here, the most sought after man in the visiting side was the honorary president of the Serbian federation, Slobodan Zivojinovic.

Popularly known as “Bobo”, Zivojinovic was a big name in the circuit throughout the 80s. A huge man at six feet six inches, he once was the world No. 1 in doubles.

However, his exploits in singles also made him a highly popular player in the circuit. He reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open in 1985 and made the Wimbledon last four next year.

“I have a special feeling for India. I played in the Davis Cup for the then Yugoslavia in Delhi in 1988,” he said.

He played two singles matches against Ramesh Krishnan and Vijay Amritraj and won both.

He also remembers his doubles match, in which he teamed up with Goran Prpic, to beat the formidable combination of Vijay and Anand Amritraj, the present non-playing captain of the Indian team.

“It was a good match and it went to the wire. Both Vijay and Anand were good players and the match went to the fifth set,” Zivojinovic said.

Asked how today’s tennis was different from the time he played, the former world No. 19 said: “In my time, tennis was more attractive. Players were skilful and you could see a good serve-and-volley game, which is a rare sight these days.

“Most of the players, including the top ones, prefer to stay at the baseline and are not confident enough to come up to the net. Players had more strokes in my time,” he added.

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