Novak Djokovic broke down in tears as he addressed a 4,000 crowd after being knocked out of the first leg of his Adria Tour charity tournament.
Djokovic needed to record a straight-sets victory over Germany’s Alexander Zverev in his final group game at his tennis complex in Belgrade on Sunday and a 4-0, 1-4, 4-2 success was not enough.
The result ensured another Serbian, Filip Krajinovic, progressed to face Austria’s Dominic Thiem in Sunday night’s final courtesy of his win over Djokovic on Saturday.
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Quoted on the tournament’s official website, the world No 1 told the crowd: “I am not crying because I got knocked out of the tournament, I am just overwhelmed by emotion because this reminds me of my childhood.
“It’s been an emotional few days and I want to thank everyone who made this possible. The important thing after this match is that we have one of our own in the final. I love you all and thank you so much for turning up.”
Further legs of the tournament will take place in Croatia and Bosnia but an event in Montenegro has been postponed because of concerns over coronavirus protocols.