The international tennis tour returns this month to Serbia for the first time since 2012. Meanwhile, Djordje Djokovic, the Serbian Open 2021 tournament director and youngest brother of World No.1 Novak Djokovic, described the 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal as a great person. And he revealed his memorable moments with Spaniard.
Rafael Nadal Was One Of My Idols, says Djordje Djokovic
Djordje said no private communication between him and other Big 3 group members(Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal) in a recent podcast. Simultaneously, the 25-year-old Serbian tennis player disclosed the former World No.1 Rafael Nadal was one of his idols. And he dressed up the same as a Spanish tennis legend.
“I have got some really nice memories of Nadal. Novak introduced me to him in Monte-Carlo in 2006. Once, I was sitting in the player’s lounge when Nadal entered the room,” Djordje confessed.
Serb continued, “Bear in mind that he was one of my idols. I used to wear sleeveless shirts and long shorts just like him. There was a pinball machine around: both of us were not very good with English at that time, but he asked me to play. And we did. My heart was full! I beat him, so he kicked the machine (laughing), but he hugged me afterwards.”
“From that point on, we chat every time we run into each other. It is a wonderful trait to have, to behave as he does. Rafa really is a great person,” the Serbian Open 2021 Director added.
“I Have Never Interacted With Him(Federer) The Way I Have With Rafa”: Djordje
One of the youngest tournament chiefs also reminisced his memories with the senior member in the Big 3 group, none other than Roger Federer. Djordje explained that he met Swiss Maestro on more than a dozen occasions, but the interaction differed from what he did with Rafael Nadal.
Djordje Djokovic further explained, “I have met Federer, I think, 15 times. The last time I saw him was during the Davis Cup tie against Switzerland in Novi Sad (2014). He was entering the court as I was leaving; we exchanged a few words, and that was it. It was all good, but it so happened that I have never interacted with him the way I have with Rafa.”
In the ATP tour calendar, Serbian Open 2021 will occur from 19th to 25th April in Belgrade.