Serbian tennis superstar Novak Djokovic feels his country deserves an ATP tournament and he hopes Serbia will get back on the Tour calendar. In 2009, Serbia hosted their first-ever ATP event when the Serbia Open in Belgrade took place.
The tournament was owned and run by the Djokovic family but it didn’t survive for too long on the ATP Tour. The Serbia Open — which was an ATP 250 event — staged four tournament editions before it was replaced by the Power Horse Cup in Dusseldorf, in 2013.
Djokovic’s uncle Goran was the tournament director until the resigned month after the last tournament edition of the event. “Of course I remember what happened during the Serbian Open,” Djokovic said, per Sportskeeda.
“I think we deserve such a tournament. We, the players but also the country that loves this sport viscerally. We will do our best to come back.” Djokovic, ranked at No. 1 in the world, made three appearances at the Serbia Open and he enjoyed much success.
Djokovic, 33, won the inaugural edition of the Serbia Open in 2009 after handing a straight-set defeat to Pole Lukasz Kubot in the final. The Serb returned to Belgrade a year later but didn’t defend his title after he was forced to retire his quarterfinal clash to fellow compatriot Filip Krajinovic.
After an unfortunate end to his 2010 Belgrade campaign, Djokovic returned to the event the following year and claimed his second title at the tournament after beating Feliciano Lopez in the final. In 2012 — which turned out to be the last edition of the tournament — Djokovic wasn’t present and Italian Andreas Seppi won it all.
Novak Djokovic feels responsible to help his country as much as he can
Djokovic broke down in tears over during the Adria Tour event in Belgrade. The 33-year-old’s wish of brining some of the best players of the game to Belgrade and promoting Serbia in a positive way became a reality this past weekend.
Djokovic didn’t win the event but the stars who came to play left Belgrade impressed and satisfied. “I am very connected to my country and I try to give back mostly to where I come from. It is important that all of us involved in Serbian tennis collectively try to focus on setting up the right foundations for the development of tennis (in Serbia).
Despite not being available all the time, I feel very responsible for that,” Djokovic said. Novak Djokovic is now focused on this week’s Adria Tour event in Zadar.