Djordje Djokovic, Novak’s brother and director of the Serbia Open, which will start in Belgrade in a week’s time, spoke about the goals of the newly established tournament and his great desire to bring Roger Federer to Belgrade.
“This year we didn’t invite Roger because we had to be careful with the budget and we couldn’t afford to exhaust it all on one player. We had to manage the money so that we could hope to see Federer in Belgrade in the coming years. It’s a great hope that we can host him at least once, until the end of his career. We will definitely invite him next year, I guarantee you that,” Djordje Djokovic said in the interview with Wish&Go Podcast.
On whether Nole will be involved in the tournament, Djordje said: “I asked Novak not to get involved in the event as we will treat him like any other player. I want him to enjoy it and feel like a player. He was involved and he was very excited when we were getting permission for the tournament, but I think I can surprise him with some things we have arranged for the players.”
Finally, Djordje Djokovic made no secret that their aspirations are to have an ATP 500 tournament in the next few years, “We have big goals, we want to be a 500 tournament. If we are given that opportunity, we will definitely buy the license. From the beginning we have been looking for a week in the tournament that has aspirations to make us an ATP 500 tournament. It’s true that the Barcelona tournament is in the same week, but it won’t be the first time that a week will have two 500s at the same time.”
The Serbia Open will be the first ATP tournament to be held in Belgrade since 2012 and will be hosted at the Novak Tennis Center from April 19-25. There will also be a WTA Tour tournament – for the first time in Belgrade – hosted by the Novak Tennis Center from May 17 to 23.