Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Gael Monfils set for Srpska Open in Banja Luka
Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina will host its maiden ATP Tour-level event in April and fans will get to see the likes of world No 1 Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka and Gael Monfils in action.
Belgrade hosted the Serbia Open the past two seasons, but tournament director Djordje Djokovic – brother of Novak – announced in late 2022 that the clay-court event would switch to Banja Luka this year as they are busy with renovations at the Novak Tennis Centre.
They are hopeful that the event will move back to Belgrade in 2024 – although negotiations for a new license are still underway with license owner Ion Tiriac.
But for now it is all systems go for this year’s Srpska Open with 22-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic the headline act along with three-time Grand Slam winner Wawrinka and the fit-again Monfils – who was also due to play last year, but withdrew because of injury.
“When we started preparing for this tournament, we had big ambitions,” Djordje Djokovic told novosti.rs. “Now, a few months later, they are even bigger because we will host some of the most important names from the world of tennis, and at the same time give fans in the region the opportunity to watch world-class tennis from the front rows.
“We are happy that this April we will gather top tennis players in one place and that year after year we show that this tournament is becoming a tradition in our region.”
The tournament will take place at the tennis centre at Mladen Stojanovic Park, with three feature courts and six training courts. The centre court is able to accommodate 6,000 spectators.
Besides Djokovic, Serbia will also be represented by Laslo Dere, Filip Krajinovic and Dusan Lajovic in the main draw in Banja Luka.
Andrey Rublev is the defending champion after he beat Djokovic in last year’s final and organisers are hopeful that he will return while they are also in talks with Frances Tiafoe and Karen Khachanov.
The Srpska Open is set to be Djokovic’s second tournament on clay this year as he has confirmed he will make his 2023 bow on the red dirt at the Monte-Carlo Masters, which runs from April 10-16. He is likely to also feature at Madrid Open and Italian Open before the clay season comes to a conclusion at the French Open.
READ MORE: Novak Djokovic’s 2023 tennis schedule: Where and when will he compete next after US setback?
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