Argentine tennis player Francisco Cerundolo admitted he was star-struck after seeing Novak Djokovic in person for the first time. Cerundolo, 23, competed at the Serbia Open in Belgrade last year. Djokovic, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, also competed in Belgrade the week before the the French Open.
“Last year I played the finals in Buenos Aires, and after that I traveled to Europe. Three weeks have passed, and I played Serbia Open. I am in the gym and suddenly Novak enters, I have never seen him live in my life as a player,” said Cerundolo.
Cerundolo on meeting Djokovic
A month-and-a-half before coming to Belgrade, Cerundolo captured his maiden ATP title in Buenos Aires. When Djokovic came across Cerundolo, he was very pleasant and congratulated the Argentine on winning Buenos Aires.
Cerundolo was touched by the kindness of Djokovic. “I was nervous at first when I saw him coming. He looked at me, greeted me and introduced himself as ‘Novak’. I couldn’t talk, I was nervous. He congratulated me on the title in Buenos Aires.
It surprised me – number one in the world, he has a million things in his head, and he knows what my results are, and that of my brother. I was flattered,” Cerundolo admitted. Meanwhile, Djokovic has split with his long-term coach Marian Vajda.
Djokovic and Vajda worked 15 years together before announcing their split. After the split, Djokovic showed Vajda appreciation and respect. “Marian has been by my side during the most important and memorable moments in my career,” Djokovic said.
“Together we have achieved some incredible things and I am very grateful for his friendship and dedication over the last 15 years. “While he might be leaving the professional team he will always be family and I can’t thank him enough for all he has done”.