WATCH: Novak Djokovic rewards youngster after his lost credit card is returned at basketball match
Novak Djokovic attended a basketball match in his native Belgrade on Wednesday and naturally there was lot of fanfare around one of the world’s greatest players, but there was also a feel-good moment in the middle of the madness.
The 22-time Grand Slam winner – a big basketball fan – is currently sidelined as he was unable to play in the Indian Wells Open and Miami Open due to entry requirements for the United States, but that has given him free time to catch some hoops in Belgrade.
And on Wednesday he attended local giants Crvena Zvezda’s Euroleague clash against Valencia.
Djokovic is one of Serbia’s favourite sons and he received a standing ovation from those in the stands and he naturally showed his appreciation by waving and mouthing “thank you”.
— Saša Ozmo (@ozmo_sasa) March 29, 2023
At half-time Djokovic went onto the court and interacted with some children and of course it got a little bit crazy with everyone wanting a handshake or a selfie with the sporting great.
Then in the middle of it all Djokovic slipped something to one of the children and it later emerged that the tennis great lost his credit card and the youngster returned it to the 35-year-old.
— Saša Ozmo (@ozmo_sasa) March 29, 2023
If this doesn’t bring a smile to your face today then nothing will.
Djokovic has already hit the clay courts as he prepares for his return to action at the Monte-Carlo Masters in mid-April. The world No 2 was last in action at the Dubai Tennis Championships in February.
The Monte-Carlo event gets underway on April 17 and Djokovic will compete at the Srpska Open the following week. He is yet to confirm his participation at the Madrid Open and Italian Open, but those two tournaments are usually crucial to his French Open build-up.
His coach Goran Ivanisevic is confident if everything goes according to plan then he can challenge 14-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal for this year’s title.
“The most important thing is to stay healthy and to prepare really well physically,” Ivanisevic said. “Of course, our main focus is Roland Garros, he needs to be ready to give it his all there.
“He can do it. Nadal is the favourite on clay as long as he can walk, but if Novak is mentally up for it, he can beat anyone.”
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