AAP Tennis

Djokovic to host Balkan tennis event

By AAP Newswire

Novak Djokovic has revealed his excitement at the return of tennis as he announced next month's Adria Tour series of tournaments to be contested across the Balkans.

With the professional game halted due to the coronavirus pandemic until the end of July, Serbian star Djokovic is promoting the four-stop clay-court tour which starts in the capital Belgrade on June 13.

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

Australian Open holder Djokovic confirmed there would be three big names apart from himself at the June 13-July 5 tournament.

"I am delighted that Dominic Thiem, Grigor Dimitrov and Alexander Zverev will be my guests here in my hometown," said the 17-times major champion.

"This is the first time any of them will be playing here and I will do everything in my power to be a good host.

Asked whether he considered inviting longtime rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to the event, Djokovic said: "Quite frankly, inviting Federer didn't cross my mind because... he is still nursing a knee injury.

"As for Nadal, I have no problem giving him a call but I wouldn't expect him to come over."

All four tournaments will feature eight players, competing in two pools of four on a round-robin basis with the winners of each pool advancing to the final.

Djokovic added sets would be slashed to winning four games instead of six, with a total of 13 matches to be played over two days in each leg.