In some darkened and damp apartment in old Belgrade, two men in trench-coats were meeting.
One, a gypsy merchant selling relics and supposedly magical items for a living and the other, a tennis star, number four in the world - Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic shed his over-sized coat and got down to business.
Djokovic: Do you have it?
Merchant: Yes, of course. Did you bring the money?
Djokovic: Yes! Here, you can count it. It's all there.
Merchant: Thank you. Don't mind if I do.
Djokovic hands over the brief case and the merchant opens it up and starts "listening" to each thick wad of cash.
Merchant: Okay and now it is time to keep my part of the deal.
Djokovic: Let's see it.
The merchant produced a guitar shaped cover and unzipped it to show a golden tennis racket which did not cease to sparkle.
Merchant: "Made by the finest sorcerer in the Balkans. No one could match his craftsmanship nor his mystique touch."
Djokovic: I have heard so much and now I have it. (He swings the tennis scepter) The tennis world is now mine to rule.
Merchant: Before you go and enjoy your racket, there are some things you should know.
Djokovic: Oh and what is that? Is there something wrong with this racket? Because if there is, I want my money back.
Merchant: No, No! The racket is fine. It will take some getting use to but it will end up being part of you. It will enhance your swing, and it will send the ball where you mind wants it to go.
Djokovic: Excellent!! So what's the problem?
Merchant: Well there are two things. They both have to do with the sorcerer. First off, he died by the Spanish flu.
Therefore all of his creations are susceptible to anything Spanish. You may not have the greatest luck on any Spanish soil or against certain Spanish players. It is truly a Spanish curse.
Djokovic: Oh GREAT!! What else?
Merchant: The sorcerer lived a very humble life. The items he made reflect that humility. In order for this racket to work for you, you must show that same quality of what they call "humble pie".
Djokovic: Are you kidding me? Well, I could pretend.
Merchant: No, you cannot. You must have authentic humility or the racket's powers are useless.
Djokovic: Just one question.
Djokovic: You got any other tennis rackets with unconditional powers?
Djokovic: Oh ok.
Merchant: But I do have these magical blue sneakers which are designed to float on clay and concrete. It might offset the racket's shortcomings.
Djokovic: How much?
Merchant: 700 Euros
Djokovic: Deal! You got any t-shirts that turn invisible when I win a match?
Merchant: Uh, No!
Djokovic pumps his chest and points to the merchant and exits. The merchant shakes his head.
Merchant (to himself): Man, kids nowadays! Nothing is ever good enough. Good thing I did not sell him those Guaranteed-To-Win-Grand-Slam-Sweat-Bands!
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