Novak Djokovic - US Open 2023

Novak Djokovic reveals his ‘greatest honour’ is representing Serbia

Novak Djokovic has arrived in Australia for the United Cup, as the Serb prepares to begin his 21st season on the ATP Tour.

Djokovic will make his debut at the second edition of the United Cup, alongside Serbian teammates Olga Danilovic, Hamad Medjedovic, Natalija Stevanovic, Nikola Cacic and Dejana Radanovic.

And the world No.1 has spoken about his previous success down under and the pride of representing his nation, “It’s been a while since I was here last time so it’s great. I’m happy when I return to Australia, where I had probably the biggest Grand Slam success in my career.

“I’m excited to play; I came in earlier than I normally do due to the schedule because the United Cup starts before the New Year, but representing Serbia is always the greatest honour and pride. So, hopefully we can have a packed house with a lot of people coming to watch our matches.”

Although Djokovic has not competed at the United Cup before, he has represented Serbia at the similar Hopman Cup where he reached the final in both 2008 and 2013.

Serbia are in a group with China and Czech Republic, and Djokovic has spoken about his preparation for the new season after arriving in Perth.

“I haven’t been to this part [Perth] of Australia for seven, eight or nine years,” revealed Djokovic. “It’s going to be great; a hot Australian summer as always. We’ve been trying to prepare for that in the Middle East, so I’m going to take a couple of days of training and hopefully get at my desired level very soon.”

The 36-year-old continued, “I hope it’s not my last [summer in Australia]. I always looked forward to coming back to Australia, where I felt like I’ve played my best tennis over the years.

“I have great support here and don’t really have a plan about what’s going to happen next year, and I’ll take it season by season.”

Djokovic will begin his season on Sunday 31st December against Chinese No.1 Zhizhen Zhang, before Serbia’s second tie against Czech Republic begins on Tuesday 2nd January.

Inside the baseline…

Novak Djokovic has always been very open about his passion for representing his nation on the matchcourt, putting a big focus on the Olympic Games and the Davis Cup, and it is likely that the United Cup will have a similar priority for the world No.1. With Djokovic being by far Serbia’s strongest player, the 10-time Australian Open champion will need to make sure that he wins his singles matches and potentially mixed doubles too!

READ MORE – United Cup 2024 Preview: When is it, who is playing and what is the prize money?

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.