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Djokovic to Host Serbia Tournament a Year after Covid Fiasco

Djokovic to Host Serbia Tournament a Year after Covid Fiasco

Sunday, 18 April, 2021 - 06:45
Tennis - Australian Open - Men's Singles Final - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021 Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after winning his final match against Russia's Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

World number one Novak Djokovic will relaunch the Serbia Open tournament in Belgrade on Monday, less than a year after a charity event he organized in the city ended in fiasco.

Djokovic was among several players to test positive after last year's event, which was held in front of thousands of fans with no social distancing.

Organizers insist that the forthcoming ATP clay court event scheduled for April 19-25 will be very different -- no fans will be allowed and Covid protocols will apply.

The Novak Tennis Center in Belgrade will also stage a second clay court event from May 24 on the eve of Roland Garros.

Apart from Djokovic, other top players in Belgrade this week event will include Italy's Matteo Berrettini as well as Russian sensation Aslan Karatsev who made the Australian Open semi-finals earlier this year.

The tournament is organized by the 33-year-old's family with his younger brother Djordje acting as director, and will be played in his "Novak" facility where he regularly trains.

The Serbian capital stepped in, relaunching the Serbia Open after a nine-year hiatus, after Budapest withdrew from organizing a tournament.

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