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Serbian stars' success belies humble roots

'We earned it the hard way'

Originally Published: September 1, 2011
By Viv Bernstein

NEW YORK -- They grew up playing tennis in a war-torn country, with no access to world-class coaches or facilities. An old swimming pool, carpeted over, was their tennis court.

Who knows what might have become of Serbians Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic and Novak Djokovic had that pool in Belgrade been filled with water.

Instead, the makeshift court produced three of the best tennis players in the world. Ivanovic and Jankovic each achieved the No. 1 world ranking in 2008, and now ...

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