Slobodan Živojinović

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Slobodan Živojinović
Živojinović at Wimbledon in the mid 1980s.
Country (sports) Yugoslavia
ResidenceBelgrade, Serbia
Born (1963-07-23) 23 July 1963 (age 60)
Belgrade, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia
Height1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)
Turned pro1981
PlaysRight-handed (one-handed backhand)
Prize money$1,450,654
Career record151–139
Career titles2
Highest rankingNo. 19 (26 October 1987)
Grand Slam singles results
Australian OpenSF (1985)
French Open3R (1988)
WimbledonSF (1986)
US Open3R (1987)
Career record151–102
Career titles8
Highest rankingNo. 1 (8 September 1986)
Grand Slam doubles results
Australian OpenQF (1985)
French Open1R (1985, 1989, 1991)
WimbledonSF (1987)
US OpenW (1986)

Slobodan "Bobo"[1][2][3][4] Živojinović (Serbian Cyrillic: Слободан Живојиновић, pronounced [slɔbɔ̌dan ʒiʋɔjǐːnɔʋit͡ɕ]; born 23 July 1963) is a Serbian former professional tennis player who competed for SFR Yugoslavia.

Together with Nenad Zimonjić, he is the only tennis player from Serbia to be the world No. 1 in doubles. As a singles player, he reached the semifinals of the 1985 Australian Open and the 1986 Wimbledon Championships, achieving a career-high ranking of world No. 19 in October 1987.

Tennis career[edit]

Živojinović represented SFR Yugoslavia as the number 15 seed at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, where he was defeated in the second round by France's Guy Forget.

The right-hander won two career singles titles (Houston, 1986 and Sydney, 1988), as well as eight doubles titles. He reached his highest singles ATP ranking on October 26, 1987, when he became world No. 19. Živojinović was known for his tall, wiry frame that made him the original big-boom server before Goran Ivanisevic.[5] He built his game on his big serve, enhanced greatly by his height and his muscular thighs. He was an exciting player to watch and a very troubling one to play against. His ace total in a match often became difficult to overcome, with the result that no one looked forward to playing the big Serb.[6]

Živojinović's most notable Grand Slam results were two semifinals. As an unseeded player at the 1985 Australian Open, he memorably beat John McEnroe in a five-set quarterfinal to reach the semifinals (where he lost in straight sets to Mats Wilander). The next year, at the 1986 Wimbledon semifinal, again as an unseeded player, he lost to Ivan Lendl in a five-set match.

Over the course of his career, Živojinović amassed an overall singles record of 150 wins and 138 defeats. He was much more successful in doubles competition, winning the US Open in 1986 with Andrés Gómez. The same year, he won three more tournaments. He was ranked as the world No. 1 doubles player on September 8, 1986.

Career finals[edit]

Singles (2–2)[edit]

Grand Slam (0)
Tennis Masters Cup (0)
ATP Tour (2–2)
Result W/L Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Loss 0–1 Mar 1985 Nancy, France Carpet (i) United States Tim Wilkison 6–4, 6–7(5–7), 7–9
Win 1–1 Nov 1986 Houston, United States Carpet (i) United States Scott Davis 6–1, 4–6, 6–3
Loss 1–2 May 1988 Forest Hills, United States Clay United States Andre Agassi 5–7, 6–7(2–7), 5–7
Win 2–2 Oct 1988 Sydney, Australia Hard (i) United States Richard Matuszewski 7–6(10–8), 6–3, 6–4

Doubles (8–6)[edit]

Grand Slam (1)
Tennis Masters Cup (0)
ATP Tour (7)
Result W/L Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1–0 Jul 1985 Boston, United States Hard Belgium Libor Pimek Australia Peter McNamara
Australia Paul McNamee
2–6, 6–4, 7–6
Loss 1–1 Nov 1985 Wembley, UK Carpet (i) Germany Boris Becker France Guy Forget
Sweden Anders Järryd
5–7, 6–4, 5–7
Win 2–1 Mar 1986 Brussels, Belgium Carpet (i) West Germany Boris Becker Australia John Fitzgerald
Czechoslovakia Tomáš Šmíd
7–6, 7–5
Win 3–1 Mar 1986 Rotterdam, Netherlands Carpet (i) Sweden Stefan Edberg Poland Wojciech Fibak
United States Matt Mitchell
2–6, 6–3, 6–2
Loss 2–3 May 1986 Forest Hills, US Clay Germany Boris Becker Chile Hans Gildemeister
Ecuador Andrés Gómez
6–7, 6–7
Loss 3–3 Aug 1986 Toronto, Canada Hard Germany Boris Becker United States Chip Hooper
United States Mike Leach
7–6, 3–6, 3–6
Win 4–3 Aug 1986 US Open, New York Hard Ecuador Andrés Gómez Sweden Joakim Nyström
Sweden Mats Wilander
4–6, 6–3, 6–3, 4–6, 6–3
Loss 4–4 Oct 1986 Vienna, Austria Carpet (i) United States Brad Gilbert Brazil Ricardo Acioly
Poland Wojciech Fibak
Loss 4–5 Nov 1986 Stockholm, Sweden Hard Australia Pat Cash United States Sherwood Stewart
United States Kim Warwick
4–6, 4–6
Win 5–5 Mar 1987 Brussels, Belgium Carpet (i) West Germany Boris Becker United States Chip Hooper
United States Michael Leach
7–6, 7–6
Win 6–5 Mar 1987 Milan, Italy Carpet (i) West Germany Boris Becker Spain Sergio Casal
Spain Emilio Sánchez
3–6, 6–3, 6–4
Win 7–5 Oct 1988 Tokyo, Japan Carpet (i) Ecuador Andrés Gómez West Germany Boris Becker
West Germany Eric Jelen
7–5, 5–7, 6–3
Loss 7–6 Oct 1989 Tokyo, Japan Carpet (i) Ecuador Andrés Gómez United States Kevin Curren
United States David Pate
6–4, 3–6, 6–7
Win 8–6 Feb 1990 Brussels, Belgium Carpet (i) Spain Emilio Sánchez Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Goran Ivanišević
Hungary Balázs Taróczy
7–5, 6–3

Team competitions (1)[edit]

No. Date Team competition Surface Partner/Team Opponents Score
1. May 1990 World Team Cup, Düsseldorf, Germany Clay Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Goran Ivanišević
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Goran Prpić
United States Jim Courier
United States Brad Gilbert
United States Ken Flach
United States Robert Seguso

Grand Slam singles performance timeline[edit]

(W) winner; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (DNQ) did not qualify; (A) absent; (NH) not held; (SR) strike rate (events won / competed); (W–L) win–loss record.
Tournament 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 Career SR
Australian Open A A A SF NH 3R 3R 2R 1R Q2 0 / 6
French Open 1R A 2R 2R 1R 1R 3R 1R 1R A 0 / 8
Wimbledon A A A 2R SF QF 4R 4R 1R 1R 0 / 7
US Open A A A 1R 1R 3R 1R 1R A A 0 / 5
Grand Slam SR 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 4 0 / 3 0 / 2 0 / 26

Personal life[edit]

Živojinović at Wimbledon in the mid-1980s

Živojinović was engaged to Zorica Desnica with whom he has a son Filip. The couple broke up before getting married. Desnica later married basketball player Ivo Nakić whom she has a son Mario and daughter Iva with—their son Mario also went on to become a professional basketball player.

In 1991, Živojinović married Yugoslav folk singer Fahreta Jahić known as Lepa Brena.

Živojinović's media prominence, especially in the years since his retirement, owes much to his marriage to Lepa Brena, Yugoslavia's biggest commercial folk singing star. Their wedding on December 7, 1991 was a media event throughout the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The lavish ceremony took place at Belgrade's InterContinental Hotel with Ion Țiriac as the groom's best man. The level of interest in the event was such that Brena's manager Raka Đokić released a VHS tape of the wedding for commercial exploitation.[7] Their very public relationship has been providing steady fodder for various yellow media publications ever since.

The couple have two sons — Stefan (born in New York City in May 1992) and Viktor. In the afternoon hours of Thursday, November 23, 2000, 8-year-old Stefan was kidnapped by members of Zemun mafia clan and returned on Tuesday five days later on the side of BelgradeNiš highway for the ransom sum reported to be more than DM 2 million.[8]


  1. ^ "'BOBO' LOSES NAME GAME, Won't FACE 'BOOM, BOOM' » Mitch Albom". 21 November 2008.
  2. ^ "Have a special feeling for India: Slobodan".
  3. ^ "Davis Cup: Wider and wiser, 'Bobo' returns to India after 26 years". The Indian Express. 11 September 2014.
  4. ^ Allen, JA. "Pete Sampras and the Top 25 Servers in the History of Men's Tennis". Bleacher Report.
  5. ^ Naik, Shivani (2014-09-11). "Davis Cup: Wider and wiser, 'Bobo' returns to India after 26 years". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 2022-07-30.
  6. ^ Allen, Ja article in of Feb 18 2011, on The Top 25 servers in Men's Tennis history - Bobo at 20th place>
  7. ^ Svadba decenije
  8. ^ Stefan predat na niškom autoputu, Glas javnosti, December 1, 2000

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
France Yannick Noah
Ecuador Andrés Gómez
Ecuador Andrés Gómez
World No. 1 (doubles)
August 25, 1986 - September 7, 1986
September 22, 1986 - October 19, 1986
November 10, 1986 - November 23, 1986
Succeeded by
Ecuador Andrés Gómez
Ecuador Andrés Gómez
Ecuador Andrés Gómez
Preceded by President of the Tennis Federation of Serbia
Succeeded by