“He Has a Great Desire to…”: Brother Reveals Why Novak Djokovic Is Playing in Belgrade Near French Open 2021

Published 05/27/2021, 3:51 AM EDT
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

Serbian World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is currently contesting at the ATP Belgrade-2 2021. It is the first time he is playing at a tournament so close to a Grand Slam.


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Interestingly, the second event in the Serbian capital fit itself in the ATP calendar after the French Open 2021 postponement. Even then, there were many doubts about Djokovic playing in this event.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his final match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

However, he decided to go ahead with it and is now through to the quarterfinals. His brother Djordje Djokovic, also the tournament director, opened up on what prompted the decision.


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Read More: US Open 2021 Introduces Major Change Following Disqualification of Novak Djokovic

Brother advised Novak Djokovic not to play in Belgrade

In a recent interview, Djordje expressed his joy at hosting many tournaments on home soil. Naturally, the interviewer asked how difficult it was to convince Novak, given its proximity to French Open 2021.

The youngest of the three Djokovic brothers said, “I was the one who said he shouldn’t play. He’s chasing records in GS titles. However, he was the one who resolutely wanted to play in Belgrade in this tournament. The Olympics and the Grand Slams are his goals, but obviously and Belgrade.”

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

Previously, the 18-time Grand Slam champion lost his first match on home soil in the Serbia Open 2021 earlier this month. But at that time, there was no audience in the stands.

However, in Belgrade-2, the chances of inviting fans are comparatively higher. Djordje said, “There are indications. I can’t say anything. He has a great desire to play in front of our audience. I hope he will be able to play in front of the audience in the quarterfinals tomorrow.”

Unquestionably, the 34-year-old is looking for energy from the home crowd to take with him in Paris. He will begin his campaign as the top seed for Roland-Garros 2021.

Read More: French Open 2021 Seeds: Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Ashleigh Barty, and Naomi Osaka Lead the Power-Packed Field

Djokovic is chasing Nadal and Federer’s 20 Grand Slams

Before Belgrade, Novak and Rafael Nadal produced one of the best tennis matches in the Italian Open 2021 final. It gave fans a glimpse of what to expect at Roland-Garros 2021.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal shakes hands with Serbia’s Novak Djokovic after winning the final REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

The main event begins on May 30 and will run through June 13. Djokovic fans are hoping to see him lift his second French Open title this year. But do you think the Serbian can stop the Spaniard?


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Find regular updates on Belgrade-2 on their official Twitter and Instagram handles.


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Also Read: Has Novak Djokovic Defeated Rafael Nadal at French Open?


Purav Joshi

814 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.