Dec 9, 2008

Novak Djokovic has both tennis & entrepreneurial skills

At first glance I thought Novak Djokovic's newly opened restaurant has exclusive karaoke rooms and selling Chinese food too.

Well, okay those are not chopsticks but drinking straws.

According to Great Tennis Photos, "Novak" is opened in Belgrade and its menu includes Argentinian, Spanish, Italian and many other international food.

Okay, perhaps there are Chinese food indeed.

Now opening a family restaurant is an achievement for the Djokovic family.

But bringing the first ATP tournament to Belgrade in May next year is an even bigger achievement for the world no. 3 player in the world and his family.

After excellent results of all our tennis players recently, we've managed to put Serbia on the tennis map of the world. Serbia deserves that. Belgrade lives for tennis, at least that's my impression", said Djokovic at the press conference.
The tournament will be organised by Family Sport, with $500,000 prize money (approximately 390,000 euros).

The tournament directors are Nikola Pilic and Novak's uncle Goran.
"I've already had talks with some players about their coming to Belgrade, but I couldn't do it more seriously, until we were sure we were going to get the tournament organisation, which happened only in the end of the season. We will certainly do that now", added Djokovic.

"It's not the most important thing that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray play in Belgrade. It's important that we have high quality matches, because no one of us has experience in organising tournaments, except Nikola Pilic."
"Pilic's experience is necessary, I will also help, because as a player I've seen what those small tournaments lack in. We also got a good schedule, because the clay season starts 2 weeks before our tournament", said Djokovic.
Goran Djokovic said that "Family Sport" had got the licence for the tournament that had previously been held in Amersfort, where Novak won his first ATP title in 2006, on indefinite period of time.

Pilic and Goran promised that the tournament in Belgrade would be the best in the world among the other of the same prize fund.
"The first year is always unpredictable, but we'll bring interesting players, and organise the best tournament of that grade", said Pilic.
Belgrade mayor Dragan Djilas thanked the Djokovic family, and described the fact that Serbia's capital will host an ATP tournament as "a great thing".

"This is fantastic thing for Belgrade, especially for all the children, that dream to become like Novak one day. We're back on the European map where we belong", said Djilas.
Ana Ivanovic is reportedly negotiating to buy a franchise for a WTA event in Belgrade next winter.

(Via Great Tennis Photos, Novak Djokovic's official website)

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