Djokovic joined the Serbian national basketball team on the historic balcony of the Old Palace (Stari Dvor) in Belgrade. The occasion marked Djokovic’s 24th Grand Slam victory and celebrated Serbia’s accomplishment of winning a silver medal at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
During his speech to the Serbian people, Djokovic conveyed his deep appreciation for the huge and welcoming turnout. He began by offering his congratulations to Serbia’s basketball runner-ups, honouring both those from the past and the current generation. The US Open champion also thanked the team for their warm welcome and allowing him to join in with their celebrations.
“There are rare moments when I am speechless, and this is one of them,” he passionately conveyed to the crowd while on stage with the Serbian basketball team. “This is a childhood dream come true for me.”
“Like many of my generation, I was there to relish the previous successes of various sports teams, including water polo and basketball. This is a great honor for me; this is priceless, and this feeling will never happen again.
“I stand here with great athletes and, above all, good people with whom I have a good connection. I told them a little while ago that I also felt their harmony and that moment of humanity.”
Djokovic also took a moment to acknowledge Borisa Simanic, the power forward for the Serbian national team, who tragically lost a kidney following an injury during a game against South Sudan at the FIBA World Cup. He encouraged everyone to chant Borisa’s name, recognising him as a national hero.
Djokovic secured his fourth US Open championship at Flushing Meadows, achieving a commanding straight-sets victory of 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 over Medvedev. The Serbian superstar equaled a historical record, and set 11 in the process.
Following his victory, Djokovic reflected on achieving his “childhood dream” to compete at the pinnacle of the sport for such an extended period. When questioned about the possibility of retirement, which has become a hot topic surrounding the 36-year-old, he playfully suggested that he might continue to stick around for quite some time.
“I feel good in my own body. I still feel I got the support of my environment, of my team, of my family,” he told reporters. “Knowing that I play at such a high level still and I win the biggest tournaments in this sport, I don’t want to leave this sport if I’m still at the top, you know if I’m still playing the way I’m playing.”
“Eventually, one day, I will leave tennis in about 23, 24 years, and there is going to be new young players coming up. Until then, I guess you’ll see me a bit more.”
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