Roland-Garros is moving forward and Novak Djokovic is still wandering around. More even perhaps in the third round since Aljaz Bedene only took eight small plays from him and did not even force him to stay on the court for more than an hour and fifty minutes. De Bedene was discussed during the post-match press conference of “Djoko”. The Slovenian, a British resident, had once wanted to join the Davis Cup team of the Murray brothers, which the International Federation had refused. Questioned on this subject, the world number one revealed that during his young years, Great Britain had tried to “recruit” him.
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An offer when he was 14
“I found myself in this situation, when I was 14 years oldblew Djokovic about the change of nationality. There have been discussions with Great Britain“. It is in truth not the first time that the man with 20 Grand Slam titles has mentioned these approaches. In 2020, he had these words in an interview with Graham Bensinger on Youtube: “I had very good results in international junior tournaments, so agents spotted me. We received an offer for me to become British. It was a very tempting offer because it would have solved all our problems, but we did not accept“.
Novak Djokovic in the Serbian jersey in the Davis Cup.
In the Djokovic biography he wrote, journalist Chris Bowers says the offer was very generous and Britain hoped to have Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic in the years to come. This, however, did not come at the best of times as the man from Belgrade had started signing his first sponsorship deals and money had become less of a vital issue for his family. “Personally, I didn’t want to do it because I didn’t want to go to England where I didn’t know anyone. I wanted to stay where I had my friends, my life, my language and my country“, still nuanced Djokovic.
Novak would never have played for the UK like he played for his country
The International Federation today prohibits a player from competing in the Davis Cup for two different countries. But if a player has never played in the competition, he can somehow change his nationality if he has lived in the country concerned for three years.
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Only, when we know the attachment which is that of Novak Djokovic for his country, and vice versa, we doubt that the question has really arisen in his head for a long time. “There are many players and athletes around the world who are looking for better opportunities and better conditions. I can’t judge them. Each person tries to make life as best as possible for their family on an individual basis.“, insisted Djokovic again.
“He probably would have had a better school, better training facilities… But nobody would have been happy. I think Novak would never have played for England or the UK like he played for his country“, had commented his mother in 2020. Difficult to prove him wrong.
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