sports

A phone call from Djokovich’s superfan

Federer crying in 2009
Federer crying in 2009

After Serbia’s Novak Djokovich played Roger Federer on Friday in the semifinals of the men’s singles at the French Open, I wondered how Aleks Kostich was holding up.

In last week’s Alibi, I wrote about Kostich, a Serbian-American who lives in Albuquerque. A huge tennis fan, Kostich had been avidly following Djokovich’s undefeated match string, which began late last year. The number had reached 43 straight. He needed three more wins to tie the modern-day record of 46.

As everyone by now knows, it didn’t happen. The Fed Express prevailed, in four tense sets.

How did Kostich feel? I resisted calling him lest he think I wanted to rub it in. Kostich knows I like Fedster, and I do, except when Federer cries, which he did after he lost the Australian Open to Rafa Nadal in 2009.

On Sunday morning, Federer fell once again to Nadal. No tears this time, at least that I could detect.

But what was up with Kostich? Why hadn’t I heard from him?

Midafternoon Sunday I found a message on my cell phone.

“Just got back into town from Santa Fe. We went there trying to avoid all that smoke. Thanks for the piece. Unfortunately things didn’t pan out for the man himself. But you know, I guess you got to roll with it. I expect him to come back pretty strong for Wimbledon. There’s no reason he can’t have that success at Wimbledon. Looks like Roger expended himself in the semifinal. See you around.”