Sir Andy Murray, OBE. World No 1
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Thread: Roys trip to Serbia Davis Cup

  1. #1
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    Roys trip to Serbia Davis Cup

    A belated report on Belgrade trip (Part 1)
    Started with a meetup at Manchester Airport with Mark and John on Thursday morning, had breakfast at Giraffe before boarding 10.50 flight to Munich, snack and drink onboard, tried the Lufthansa white wine, a slight delay arriving in Munich gave us 45 mins to get the Belgrade flight but we made it with plenty of time since it boarded late. Arrived in Belgrade about 4.30 and got cash from airport ATM and then taxi to Metropol (where John was staying) set price 1800 (rate was about 150 on my Halifax card). Whilst John was checking in, all the Serbian team came to meet up in the foyer before walking to Tasmajdan, recognised Janko and Zimmo straight away, but didn't recognise Dusan or others. Had a few drinks in the bar after John had taken things to his room, then Mark and I walked to a recommended (Italian) restaurant, about 3 blocks behind the hotel. Had a pretty good meal there, very colourful place lots of decorations and a glass viewing area where you could see the kitchen below. Then taxi to our hotel the Radisson Blue which was always about 5000 for a 10 minute journey.

    Got up had breakfast about 9.30 no sign of Pabbers or Sallydaisy who were staying there as well, later found out they posted they not made breakfast. Had a little walk under the intersection near hotel then took a taxi, Mark had a business lunch with Berlitz Belgrade and I carried on to Metropol meeting John and having refreshments before walking to the stadium. We went to the North entrance since it was at an accessible level, first they told us wrong entrance but eventually we got in but without my water bottle (not allowed) Managed to acquire a suitable chair for john to watch along with some others who needed them, the rest of us were protected from the stone by some economy (very small) cushions they handed out to us which were nicely marked souvenirs to bring home showing Serbija Velika Britanija Tasmajdan . Also got my blue Back the Brits t-shirt showing match, venue date in smaller print .

    The weather which had been enough to catch a bit of sun in the morning was by the start time spitting rain and the forecast was not good, still the teams were introduced and came out, the crowd was very sparse apart from the Brit area, I would guess roughly 350 Brits in the stadium with a capacity of 6,000. Anyway play started Kyle was doing ok 2-1 up on Janko when we had the first rain break. The second attempt we got more games, Kyle was well on top and had won the first set and got a break at 2-0 when it really came down and looked set in for the day. Had a brolly, layers and lightweight rainproof top with a hood but it was running water trickling down the steps that we were supposed to sit on with our cushions. I think almost everyone left the Stadium at this point.

    Mark I and a Serbian friend Mark had met at the tennis walked out about 10 mins walk until we found a coffee shop with spaces, had tea and cake, also chatting to some other Brits. The weather was not good but got onto wifi for updates. I found an update that play would either restart at 8 or be abandoned, I must admit it didn’t look promising, it was still light rain and so Mark suggested to get a taxi back to the hotel about 7.30, I wanted to stay , I was determined not to miss a single point. I headed back to the arena, when I got there the players were out warming up and started playing about 7.50, it was still spotting rain. Kyle was broken but quickly recovered, the rain was getting worse Janko was serving at 3-5 in what I thought would be the last game. Kyle needed to win the claim the second , but he didn’t 5-4, I was expecting the referee to stop and the players go off but they sat at their chairs and were told to continue, Kyle won 6-4….. surely they will stop now, but they didn’t the rain was persistent and quite strong but they carried on, we were joking poor Janko needed windscreen wipers for his glasses, by now Kyle was imperious, hitting big shots into both corners, poor Janko could only watch.

    All through the match the number of Brits increased with people returning. I remember chatting to some who said they had been eating quickly and were happy they made it back just to see the final game, at the end probably about 75% of Brits, virtually all the Serbs had gone. The Brit support got louder and louder, all very wet, but happy. Of course Andy and all the team were also there and left wet but very happy.

    As I was already wet I decided to venture out and walked towards the cobbled restaurant area Skadarlija, past the National Assembly of Serbia (with photoboards covered with pictures and names of people killed by the NATO bombings in 1999), past the Historical Museum about a 15 minute walk. Amazingly everywhere appeared very busy, I eventually decided on a restaurant that looked ok (and well sheltered from the rain) and had a nice Serbian meal accompanied by a nice apricot liquor, some wine and then an irish coffee (all for meditional purpose of course-to get my voice back after all that shouting). There was also a group playing some nice local music – very different to what we got the next two days in breaks which was an attempt to quieten us Brits! I went to leave but the rain was now pouring down, a stream of water running down the cobbles and the sight of some girls trying to run on cobble stones in massive heels whilst holding umbrellas. I needed another drink!I had just about dried out by this time, so i got another Irish before finding a taxi.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Roys trip to Serbia Davis Cup

    Thanks, Roy - think I'm getting the flavour/taste of your trip. Looking forward to episode 2.

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  5. #3
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    Re: Roys trip to Serbia Davis Cup

    Part 2
    Saturday was an early start with James due to play, we arrived in good time and had a drink in a restaurant just across the road from the South Entrance. It began raining so we happily stayed there finding out the start was put back. On entering the second day, I was told I couldn’t take coins in, they were insistent. Rather than give them about 7 pound coins I went to the restaurant and left them there (we had already decided to eat there later), the staff laughed. Inside the Brits were there but not so many Serbs, more did arrive later. James was really out of sorts, the court was too slow for him and Dusan just picked him off. The Doubles commenced Jamie and Dom easily won the first but then lost the second on a tiebreak, in the end they won in four but doubles can sometimes be so unpredictable. We had our food in the restaurant opposite having a large sea bass cooked in salt dished out in front of the three of us (with Mark and John). After our meal we went back to the Metropol and had drinks there chatting with a few others before returning to our hotel.

    Sunday was time to get a taxi, walk round the centre taking some pictures, republic square, seeing Skadarlija in daylight and having lunch in another restaurant there (very popular with local families and Brits), we bumped into a large group of AMFF Supergran, Jimmyg and too many others to remember/mention, sorry. Third day entering, this time my sun cream ….no you cannot take it in. I protested and refused and eventually the fourth official allowed it …OMG sun cream!!!

    Having seen Dusan against James (and knowing he was a clay specialist) most people thought it could be pretty close against Kyle. However after being ok in the morning it was again some light rain when they were due to start. Dusan and Kyle played over a set in fairly steady rain, not as bad as the Friday, but enough to slow the court more which both the wet and slowness were probably to Kyle’s advantage. Kyle hit plenty of winners but Dusan was pretty good on his own serve and also managing to get some of Kyle’s impressive shots back. Kyle broke once in each set, serving without too many problems but when serving for the match he faltered and had to dig deep to get to the tiebreak and then win it, celebration. A lot of happy Brits, James and Janko came out to a party time atmoshere. James did a dance, eventually Janko did, Andy stood on his chair, Pascal sung and Andy lead on I believe followed by a mass Scottish choir singing loch Lomond , got save our team and other classics

    After another meal in the same restaurant, this time joined by Chris, who knew John from many previous trips, we said our goodbyes to the staff and went to the Metropol, in there we had drinks and were chatting to one of the Serbian (and Novak’s) coaches who was telling us they knew about Kyle , his potential and how dangerous his forehand was and that with fitness improvements (movement and stamina) he was capable of making the top ten. When he knew we had come from Manchester he mentioned he was keen on English football and supported Bolton (didn’t ask why). Anyway, I had a Manchester United top in my rucksack and gave it him as a present saying sorry it’s not Bolton. He said thanks and then left but returned about five minutes later with a lovely new Serbian team polo shirt. I can’t remember when it was sung but Novak’s on holiday was one memory …and also na na na na na, here we go, Kyle here we go! couldn’t get that out of my mind for a week or so. All in all some wonderful memories of Serbia, the people and the food.
    Last edited by roytennisfan; 10-08-2016 at 17:38. Reason: paragraphs

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  7. #4
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    Re: Roys trip to Serbia Davis Cup

    A short 4 minute video at end showing celebrations Leon Andy - I believe and Loch Lomond unfortunately all spoiled by me making noise

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIidaO8xwAk

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  9. #5
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    Re: Roys trip to Serbia Davis Cup

    Thanks Roy, always lovely to get reports from these events especially when you can't be there.

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  11. #6
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    Re: Roys trip to Serbia Davis Cup

    Thanks from one Warringtonian to another!

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  13. #7
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    Re: Roys trip to Serbia Davis Cup

    Thanks so much for sharing Roy!!!
    "Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently"

  14. #8

    Re: Roys trip to Serbia Davis Cup

    You gave him a Manchester United shirt....I hope you explained it was for wiping his rear on and not wearing?

  15. #9
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    Re: Roys trip to Serbia Davis Cup

    Well you're entitled to an opinion ......which I strongly disagree with

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