STARNBERG, May 26, 2020
Germany’s Alexander Zverev will join the line-up of the Adria Tour, organized by World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. The 17-time Grand Slam champion has organised the exhibition series for the Balkan region with the first matches scheduled for June 13 in Serbia’s capital city of Belgrade. Events at the Croatian Adriatic resort of Zadar (June 20 to 21), Montenegro (June 27 to 28) and Banja Luka (July 3 to 4) in northern Bosnia will follow before the event draws to a conclusion on July 5 in Sarajevo.
Three-time Grand Slam finalist and World No. 3 Dominic Thiem of Austria, World No. 19 Grigor Dimitrov from Bulgaria, Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Serbian veteran Viktor Troicki were last week confirmed for the tournament.
“I am delighted that Dominic Thiem, Grigor Dimitrov and Alexander Zverev will be my guests here in my hometown,” Djokovic said during a press conference in Belgrade on Monday.
“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.”
Zverev enjoyed a fine start to the season as he made his maiden Grand Slam semi-final at the Australian Open, before losing to his good friend Thiem in a close four-set battle.
“As for the three big names coming over, they will all play in the opening leg in Belgrade. Zverev might play in Croatia, too, while Dimitrov could appear in Croatia and in Montenegro.”
#Djokovic: I am very grateful to @AlexZverev, @ThiemDomi and @GrigorDimitrov and I am happy I can be their host in my birth city. They are huge stars and they are coming for free because of our relationship and the humanitarian cause. #AdriaTour pic.twitter.com/K6KUTykxgJ
— Saša Ozmo (@ozmo_sasa) May 25, 2020
When asked why Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were not invited, Djokovic replied: “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.”
Whether spectators will be allowed to attend the matches remains uncertain.
“I hope some rules will be changed by June 13 and maybe we’ll have the opportunity to have the audience as well,” Djokvovic said. “Of course, this is still uncertain, like many other things related to this situation caused by the coronavirus.”
Countries situated in the Balkan region, however, have coped with the Covid-19 pandemic with relative success with 20,000 people infected and around 660 deaths in a region of some 22 million inhabitants.
The money raised from the Adria Tour will be donated to various charities.