Serbia ≠ Novak Djokovic

Tennis In Serbia, I am being bombed with Djokovic related news when I turn on TV or open newspapers. At first, I didn’t mind. I grew up being forced to watch tennis.

My older sister is a tennis fan and I remember waiting for Pete Sampras or Andre Agassi to finish their matches, so that I could play The Little Mermaid  video cassette for the millionth time.

During the years, I even start liking this sport. Usually I was flipping through a book or magazine and watch the matches with my sister.

In the last two years, Djokovic related news were everywhere. Where has he been, who has he been with, etc. I am so happy when I travel abroad and just get away from it all. No Serbian politics and no tennis. And then, this happens:

  • Oh you are from Serbia? So, are you related to Novak? No? But it’s a small country. At least you know him, right?
  • You must be really good at tennis.
  • Is tennis your national sport? I thought all of Serbians play it.
  • I like that tennis player girl from Serbia. The pretty one, not the other one.
  • Tell me if Ana and Novak are together. I won’t tell anyone!

I think it is pretty obvious when you look at me to conclude that I am not a sports fan. Although, I do watch figure skating and gymnastics, but a lot of people do not think that counts. And I definitely do not look like I am good at tennis.

Sport in Serbia revolves mostly around team sports. The most popular one is football and people are really passionate about it. Whenever there is an important match on telly, there are almost no people on the streets.

Among the other popular sports are basketball, water polo, volleyball and handball. We also have a really good swimming team.

Tennis is getting more and more popular each day, thanks to the success of all of our players. As a nation, we like to glory successful individuals and we tend to forget the ones that used to be in their spot in the past.

That’s why handball was really popular in the 80s, basketball in the 90s, volleyball in the beginning of the 21st century and now tennis.

Next time you meet a Serbian, do not talk about tennis. You will be safer if you start with football.

Image courtesy of nixxphotography at


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