"He will beat them all at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open, I predict that" - Serbian president on Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic at the presidential palace in Belgrade (Source: YouTube/Serbian Progressive Party)
Novak Djokovic at the presidential palace in Belgrade (Source: YouTube/Serbian Progressive Party)

Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic recently invited Novak Djokovic to the Presidential Palace in Belgrade. The two discussed the World No. 1's recent predicament in Melbourne and his plans for the rest of the season, among other topics.

Djokovic's visa to enter Australia was canceled by the Border Force upon his arrival in the country last month. Although the World No. 1 initially had the decision reversed in federal court, he was deported a few days later, after the Immigration Minister exercised "personal powers" for the benefit of the Australian public.

Djokovic being barred from the Melbourne Slam upset a large proportion of the Serbian public, who collectively promised to boycott the first Major of the year. In that context, the President of Serbia probably felt it was important to host the World No. 1 at the presidential palace to discuss the fallout from the situation.

Vucic thanked Djokovic for elevating Serbia's status with his achievements and character. He also proceeded to claim the World No. 1 will soon make history by winning the three remaining Majors this year -- Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open.

"Thank you for being here and showing respect for your Serbia, for being with your people and country," Vucic said. "Thank you for representing our country with honor, courage in the best way, and for doing so in the future. Thank you for the great fight you fought in Australia."
"He will beat them all, at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open. I predict that."
Председник Републике Србије Александар #Vucic @avucic угостио је Новака Ђоковића, којем је захвалио што је свуда Србију представљао часно и храбро и што ће то чинити и у будућности, те изразио уверење да ће претећи Надала и Федерера на спортском плану.…

Vucic also revealed that he had urged Djokovic to return to Serbia after his visa was canceled the first time around. He did, however, disclose that the World No. 1 refused to buckle under the pressure, since he was very eager to defend his crown in Melbourne.

"I was like, 'Come back, what are you going to do there?'" he added. "And then I saw how persistent he is, how much he wanted to play, to fight on the sports field, to show on the sports field how much he is ready to fight not only for himself but his country and show that he is better than others."

The president also said he would support the World No. 1 in his future endeavors with respect to developing grassroots tennis in Serbia.

"Apart from the personal success that we all want and believe in as much as you, I want to ask, and we are ready to help, as a state, with authority, reputation and work, contribute to the development of tennis in the country, to have some new kids in the future," he said. "We are ready to help organize as many tournaments as possible. We have more financial possibilities to achieve something like that."

"Although I was in custody alone, faced with many problems and challenges, I did not feel lonely" - Novak Djokovic

During his visit to the palace, Novak Djokovic thanked the president for his kind words and expressed gratitude to his compatriots for their support over the last few weeks.

"I felt the need to thank you for your support, as well as all the state institutions, during the unfortunate events in Australia. Although I was in custody alone, faced with many problems and challenges, I did not feel lonely because I had the support of family, close people, friends, but also the entire Serbian people, well-meaning people from the region and the world, who tried to ease my situation," Djokovic said.

The Serb made sure to spare a word for Vucic, who was ready to step in and use his power to help Djokovic in his battle against the Australian government.

"You stood up and stood behind me and put yourself in a compromised political position, within the framework of international relations, and that is why I am extremely grateful. I will remember that," the World No. 1 said.

Djokovic will reportedly speak to the press in the next few days to give his take on the events that unfolded in Melbourne last month. On the tennis front, the Serb is expected to play in the Dubai Open later this month.

Rafael Nadal and wife Maria Francisca Perello spotted with infant son. click here for pictures.

Quick Links

Edited by Arvind Sriram
Be the first one to comment