Women’s Tennis Blog interviewed by BBC World Service Radio

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Those of you reading Women’s Tennis Blog for years know that blogging has brought me many invaluable experiences that would otherwise be unreachable, especially to someone from Serbia. The latest such unique experience was my guest appearance on the BBC World Service Radio, in the program called “Weekend”. On Sunday, ahead of the men’s Wimbledon final featuring Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, I joined the program to tell what Djokovic means for Serbia, how important and popular he is and how we celebrate his successes. You can access the audio file below:

Marija Zivlak (Women’s Tennis Blog) on BBC World Service Radio – program “Weekend”

I was quite nervous as it was my radio debut and the station was none other than the world famous BBC, while the fact that the program was live at 8.30 am on Sunday didn’t help either. In my first answer I had too many “ummm, ummms”, but later on I was more relaxed.

Just so you know, I was very reluctant to share this, as I barely collected the courage to listen to the audio file myself :), but then I thought why not, for my first try it wasn’t that bad. Note: my goodbye in the end is hilarious! 🙂


  1. I am listening to the audio file, at the moment I am writing this, i agree you did very well for your first time on radio. I think you have a nice voice too and speak good english too.

  2. Great interview and terrific exposure for your blog!! Your voice is stronger and more confident than the TV interview you did a few years ago. You sounded so English, British accent and all!!

  3. Thank you, guys, you’re a blessing 🙂 Blogging is easy and stress-free since I have supporters like you 🙂

  4. Your voice was shaking a little but well done for keeping it all under control. It’s very easy to understand you and your answer was really good. I’m just waiting when will we see you in some sports programme 🙂

  5. You were GREAT!

    One Q – Djokovic is the THIRD Serbian to get to #1 in the past 10 years, yet the first to receive such wide accolades in Serbia. I am, of course, referring to Jelena and Ana. Is Serbia THAT much MALE dominated?

  6. Steven, the interview was focused on Djokovic because he was playing the final on the day. In general, Djokovic has achieved much more in tennis than Jelena and Ana and his great success is still active while Jelena and Ana have been experiencing a slump, compared to their results of several years ago. Serbia is not male dominated. It doesn’t matter if he was the first or the third to be No.1, he’s won six GS titles.

    Serbian people love them all and they are all always celebrated for their great achievements. They are all appreciated a lot, but the appreciation for Djokovic is now more evident since he’s still in top form, unlike his female colleagues.

  7. I’ll be very honest and in doing so, I will compliment you Marija — unavoidably.

    I never read you bio — until AFTER I listened to this interview.

    I found this blog because it had great writing about tennis. I viewed it as a news source, as well as a journal about tennis. Here’s the thing: The writing in the blog is so good, I ASSUMED it was written by a native English speaker — in New York for all I knew. When I heard your voice for the first time I was confused. “What was that accent,” I asked.

    Then I heard you’re from Serbia!

    Outstanding! All this time, I’ve been under the impression that I was reading and responding to a blog written by someone in Los Angeles for all I knew.

    Well, three points:

    I was born and raised in America, and I have lived all over the country. I don’t often get to hear Americans who speak English as clearly as you. I rarely meet Americans who write English as well as you. I did not detect the “ummms” and the fact that you focused on them is the characteristic of a good speaker. You didn’t sound nervous either.

    You should do more interviews. I wish there were more people like you in the local media here in the US who can intelligently represent the sport from the viewpoint of Serbia, as well as other countries. You sounded like you belong in a broadcast booth.

    Congratulations and thanks for sharing that. Thanks for the work you do in this blog and please keep it up.

    Two other things:

    I am a Black American. I am appalled about the comments made about Marion and her appearance and her lack of natural ability. I reject those comments completely and I believe she has proven the opposite is true. On both counts. I am continually dismayed at the fixation people have on blond hair, blue eyes and being tall. I reiterate Maria Sharapova is NOT everyone’s model for beauty.

    My favorite athlete – not tennis player, but athlete is Jelena Jankovic. I admire and respect Novak very much, but I believe that Jelena Jankovic was the first Serbian to reach the top of the sport and I believe that she had just as great, if not a greater role in establishing Serbia as a tennis power than anyone else. Check the record. She was the first to win a grand slam title (mixed doubles)and she has done a lot for the sport.

    At the same time, I do not subscribe to nationalism in tennis. The unique and beautiful thing about tennis is that it is a global sport.

    You say Serbians will be in the street if Novak had won.


    Serbians should be in the street celebrating the fact that out of 166 nations in the world, you have successfully produced the hottest woman on the planet.

    As well as the best woman’s tennis blogger. And by the way. Your picture. You’re hot too. What is going on in Serbia? Is it in the water? :o)

  8. Petey, wow what a comment! 🙂 Thank you for all the compliments. It really means a lot that you’ve been reading my blog for months and never assumed it was written by someone from a non-English-speaking country.


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