World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic holds a news conference, in Belgrade. Photo: Marko Djurica/Reuters
World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic holds a news conference, in Belgrade. Photo: Marko Djurica/Reuters

Djokovic excited for Adria Tour in aid of good causes

By dpa Time of article published May 25, 2020

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BELGRADE – World tennis number one Novak Djokovic says he is excited for next month's start of the Adria Tour series of tournaments which he helped to create.

"I'm excited to be able to play in front of my audience and travel the region," the 33-year-old Serbian told a press conference in Belgrade on Monday ahead of the tournaments across Balkan nations.

"It is humanitarian, absolutely all revenue from sponsorships and TV rights, everything goes to humanitarian organizations. My foundation will be among them."

With pro tennis halted due to the coronavirus pandemic until the end of July, Djokovic is promoting the four-stop clay-court tour which starts in Belgrade on June 13. Sets will be first to four games rather than the usual six.

Contests in Zadar, Croatia, take place the next weekend with Djokovic hopeful there will be further events in Bosnia and Montenegro.

"World stars who will come here will have the option to pick any organization [to benefit] they want," said Djokovic. "They are playing for free, because of our relationship and because of the humanitarian nature of the tour."

Alexandar Zverev, Dominic Thiem and Grigor Dimitrov are confirmed to play at least once but Djokovic revealed Swiss great Roger Federer had not been asked to attend because of recent fitness issues.

"Federer has problems with his knee, so I haven't even asked him," said Djokovic. "Rafa (Nadal) recently began playing, but I haven't asked him. Maybe I will ask him, but I don't expect him to come."

Djokovic himself, meanwhile, has been ticking over in the enforced break.

"I played a lot of tennis, I hadn't posted about it in order not to anger other players," he said. "I trained on hard-court and clay, at a lower intensity than normal because I still am uncertain when I'll return to tournaments."

dpa

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