“They Appreciate & Respect Novak”: Novak Djokovic’s Father on Dominic Thiem and Others Playing Serbia Open 2021

Published 04/05/2021, 11:30 AM EDT
BELGRADE, SERBIA – JUNE 12: Dominic Thiem (L) of Austria and Novak Djokovic (R) of Serbia smile during an exhibition double match of the Adria Tour charity exhibition hosted by Novak Djokovic, on June 12, 2020 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)


World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has not featured in any event since he won the Australian Open this season. However, the Serb has remained in the limelight due to his father, Srdjan Djokovic’s opinion on various issues. Novak’s father spoke about players like Dominic Thiem and others who have confirmed their participation at the Serbia Open 2021. 

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Srdjan felt players like Thiem do not attend an event for free, and he also stated they would only visit a city where they feel comfortable and suited to play. Although the Serbia Open is not one of the biggest and most decorated events in the calendar year, they participate in it because they admire and respect Novak Djokovic

BELGRADE, SERBIA – JUNE 14: (L-R)The Djokovic family, Novak’s mother Dijana, Novak Djokovic, Novak’s brother Djordje, Novak’s father Srdjan and Novak’s wife Jelena pose during the Adria Tour Final match between Dominic Thiem of Austria and Filip Krajinovic of Serbia charity exhibition hosted by Novak Djokovic on June 14, 2020 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

Speaking on this matter, Djokovic senior said, “They don’t come for free and where they don’t like it. It’s a small tournament and they come because they appreciate and respect Novak.”

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(Quotes translated via Google translate)

Novak Djokovic will feature at the Serbia Open from April 19 onwards

The tournament is scheduled to take place from April 19 to 25. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the event will be conducted without the presence of fans. Besides Thiem, other prominent players such as Gael Monfils and 2021 Dubai Open champion Aslan Karatsev will be in attendance.

In an interesting update, former Serbian tennis player, Ana Ivanovic, will be making a comeback into the game at the event in Belgrade this year. 

In its initial years from 2009 to 2012, the tournament in Serbia was held on clay courts. However, due to its inability to attract the big names, the tournament was scrapped from the calendar year. 

Dominic Thiem of Austria shakes hands with Novak Djokovic of Serbia after beating him on Day 7 of the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 Arena on November 21, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

Djokovic and Dominic Thiem’s run in the 2021 season so far

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The two big names at the event, Djokovic and Thiem, have been involved in a great rivalry in recent years. The Serbian ace cruised over the Austrian player in the initial battles. However, with time, Dominic found a formula to come out on top against Novak. 

In the current season, the 33-year-old Serb claimed his 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open this year. Meanwhile, the 27-year-old Austrian athlete lost in the fourth round at the season’s first Grand Slam event. 

Novak will feature at the Monte Carlo Masters event later this month. On the other hand, Dominic will skip the event and feature next at the Serbia Open 2021. 

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Rohan Kollare

583 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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