Emotional Novak Djokovic broke down in tears in front of an enthusiastic home crowd in Belgrade after he failed to make the final in the first leg of his Balkans charity tennis tournament on Sunday.
“I am not crying because I missed the finals. I am just overwhelmed by emotion because this reminds me of my childhood,” the world No 1 told 4,000 fans packed into the Novak Tennis Centre on the banks of the Danube.
“It’s been an emotional few days and I want to thank everyone who supported the event and made it happen.” To a standing ovation, the 33-year-old added: “I love you all and thank you so much for coming.”
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Third-ranked Dominic Thiem, No 7 Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov, the world No 19, also took part in the Adria Tour event that got underway on Saturday. The four headline stars were joined by Serbian ATP players – Viktor Troicki, Filip Krajinovic and Dusan Lajovic.
Two big surprises marked the first day – Djokovic lost to Krajinovic in three sets and Dimitrov went down in two against late call-up Nikola Milojevic.
Djokovic’s win against Zverev on Sunday was not enough to secure him a…