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Novak Djokovic savours the Serbian support in Sydney.

Djokovic On ATP Cup Environment: 'I Cherish These Moments'

Serbia faces Russia in SF

Novak Djokovic and Serbia expected to receive plenty of support from Sydney's Serbian population at the ATP Cup Final 8. But the love they received on Friday at Ken Rosewall Arena exceeded even their expectations.

The sea of red, white and blue Serbian fans waved flags, played a trumpet and reigned cheers down on Djokovic and Dusan Lajovic as Serbia's top two singles players clinched the country's semi-final showing against Canada's Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime, respectively.


Djokovic relished the home support. “We are super grateful to have this many Serbian people show up... The crowd definitely played a big role today,” he said.

“If the majority of the stadium is backing you up, it's easier. You find that strength. You find that motivation. When you're down, they lift you up. You feel more alert, more responsible because so many people are backing you up and supporting you that you have to deliver your best game.

In this kind of energy, you want to play in this kind of atmosphere all the time. But it's not always possible. That's why I try to cherish these kind of moments and take them with me anywhere I go.”

Serbia has received heaps of support all ATP Cup. Besides the host country Australia, Serbia was the most well-supported team in Brisbane, which helped Djokovic and his teammates escape Group A unbeaten. Serbian veteran Viktor Troicki said the Brisbane support was better than Serbia has received in Belgrade.

We really feel not just like playing at home, even better than that,” Troicki said after he and Djokovic clinched a 2-1 tie victory against France in Brisbane. “They're really fantastic, they're treating us unbelievable, and it was a great experience to play tonight in front of them.”

In Sydney, the Serbian faithful have lifted their games, as have Serbia's players. Every Aussie summer, Djokovic, Lajovic and Troicki, among others, feel the love from Serbians living throughout Australia, including in Melbourne. But the inaugural ATP Cup has amplified that experience for the players.

ATP Cup brings this kind of opportunity for players to experience something they don't experience 90 per cent of the tournaments,” Djokovic said.

You're kind of playing for yourself. It's individual sport. But ATP Cup is really about team and is about these kind of matches and these kind of emotions that you get to experience. I'm so happy and so glad that I was able to experience something like this today.”