Djokovic to host Balkan event after
finally returning home from Spain
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[May 26, 2020]
By Zoran Milosavljevic
BELGRADE (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic
marked his return to Serbia, after being stranded in the Spanish
resort of Marbella for two months due to the coronavirus lockdown,
by announcing that he has organised an event which will be contested
across the Balkans.
When the world number one had travelled to Marbella with his family
in mid-March to visit his younger brother Marko, he had no idea it
would be another two months before he could return to his homeland
But it was not all bad news for Djokovic.
"Unlike many other players, I was able to train almost every day
because we resided in a house with a tennis court," a tanned
Djokovic told a news conference at his private tennis complex in
downtown Belgrade by the Danube river.
"I refrained from posting clips on social networks because I didn't
want to infuriate other players. I am fit and in good shape, so I am
looking forward to the Adria Tour, which I am organising."
Australian Open holder Djokovic, who went on an 18-0 run at the
start of the season, confirmed there would be three big names apart
from himself at the June 13-July 5 tournament.
"I am delighted that Dominic Thiem, Grigor Dimitrov and Alexander
Zverev will be my guests here in my hometown," said the 17-times
"This is the first time any of them will be playing here and I will
do everything in my power to be a good host.
"We would dearly love for fans to be able to attend but thatís still
not certain because we have to abide by the Serbian governmentís
The first leg will take place on red clay in Belgrade on June 13 and
14 at Djokovic's complex and the second in Croatia's coastal resort
Zadar on June 20 and 21.
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World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic arrives to hold a news
conference on the upcoming Adria Tour tennis tournament, in
Belgrade, Serbia, May 25, 2020. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
Montenegro and Bosnia have been designated to host the final two
legs but Djokovic said the infrastructure was still not in place.
"Bosnia and Montenegro are still not 100% certain as the hosts of
the final two legs because we havenít had enough time to prepare the
infrastructure, but we are very nearly there.
"As for the three big names coming over, they will all play in the
opening leg in Belgrade. Zverev might play in Croatia too while
Dimitrov could appear in Croatia and in Montenegro."
All four tournaments will feature eight players, competing in two
pools of four on a round-robin basis with the winners of each pool
advancing to the final.
Djokovic added sets would be slashed to winning four games instead
of six, with a total of 13 matches to be played over two days in
Asked whether he considered inviting longtime rivals Roger Federer
and Rafael Nadal to the event, Djokovic said: "Quite frankly,
inviting Federer didn't cross my mind because... he is still nursing
a knee injury.
"As for Nadal, I have no problem giving him a call but I wouldn't
expect him to come over."
(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)
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