“Cannot Be Described”: Serbia Open 2021 Doubles Winner Reveals Support Received From Novak Djokovic

Published 05/04/2021, 12:30 PM EDT
Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts in his men’s final match against Diego Schwartzman of Argentina during day eight of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at Foro Italico in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


Novak Djokovic is second to none in the ATP World Rankings and also when it comes to supporting his fellow players. Recently, Ivan and Matej Sabanov, the Serbia Open 2021 doubles title winners, opened up on Djokovic’s support.

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Firstly, one of the Croatian brothers revealed that last year, the 18-time Grand Slam champion had offered them the chance to train at the Novak Tennis Centre in Belgrade, Serbia.

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Matej said, “He offered us the best conditions for training, and that is what we desperately needed. After those preparations, he offered us to stay at his club and train there whenever we are not in tournaments.”

(All quotes are translated from Bosnian to English via Google Translate)

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Ivan and Matej Sabanov on Novak Djokovic’s support

In the final match, the Croatian brothers Ivan and Matej Sabanov handsomely defeated Gonzalo Escobar and Ariel Behar 6-3, 7-6(5). Later on, they expressed gratitude to Novak Djokovic and the people of Serbia.

During a recent interview, one of the Sabanov brothers explained that the exceptional week came courtesy of Djokovic. Furthermore, he explained how much the support from the Serbian World No. 1 means to them.

Matej continued, “Novak Djokovic’s support is something that cannot be described in words. He has been an idol to us throughout our careers, and his support means a lot to us. Every piece of his advice is extremely valuable, and it is a great honor for us to have the opportunity to learn from him.”

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 14, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his second round match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Despite continuous criticism, the 34-year-old Serbian has laid a foundation where players can find support from one other. Thus, such kind words about Novak come as no surprise in the tennis world.

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Djokovic pulled out from his title defense at the Mutua Madrid Open 2021 to play in Belgrade again. It will be the lead-up tournament for his French Open 2021 campaign.

PARIS, FRANCE – May 31: Novak Djokovic of Serbia walks back onto court following a rain delay during the Men’s Singles fourth round match against Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain on day ten of the 2016 French Open at Roland Garros on May 31, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Although he surprised many with his recent losses at the Monte-Carlo Masters and Serbia Open, Novak will be aiming for a strong return. As of now, there is no indication of his Italian Open 2021 participation.

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Hopefully, the Serbian ace will find his rhythm by the end of the month. Fans will wait to see if he rises to the challenge of the next-generation players and Rafael Nadal at the Roland Garros again.

Do you think Djokovic will win another Grand Slam this year?

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Purav Joshi

664 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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