Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Djokovic Open?

Belgrade is going to get an ATP event in the spring.

The talk of the town in sports circles in Belgrade is the news that Family Sport, [sic] company owned by Novak Djokovic’s family, has successfully ended their lobbying in Shanghai over the organization of an ATP tennis event in Serbia’s capital. The countdown to 4 May next year and the clay-court tournament that will be hosted in the Milan Gale Muskatirovic sports centre has already begun.

The ATP tournament that will be played in Belgrade, the licence for which has been taken over from the Dutch Open in Amersfoort, is scheduled for the week between the Rome and Madrid Masters events, while it will coincide with the tournaments in Munich and Estoril. The event’s officials will therefore face a formidable task of attracting the world’s best to Belgrade.

Friendly relationships between Serbia’s number one Novak Djokovic and the world’s tennis A-list could be useful in getting some of the top 10 players of the ATP rankings to appear in Belgrade. Given the fact it will be played on clay, it is expected that a number of Spanish players will be interested in registering. Maybe even Rafael Nadal himself could prepare in Belgrade for the Madrid Masters, but as things are, another Spanish clay-court specialist – Fernando Verdasco – wouldn’t mind spending some extra time in Belgrade.

(Thanks, Moose)


tristann said...

Being that this tournament awards ranking points, doesn't this smack of conflict of interest? Granted, most tournaments favor their home players with scheduling, practice times, etc. But, for the sake of appearances, you would think that the ATP would balk at granting a tournament to an active player's family.

On the other hand, Serbia does deserve to have a tournament which may further increase the popularity of the sport.

vw said...

Here is a photo of the venue.