Dusan Lajovic acknowledges Novak Djokovic has had a great impact on Serbian tennis. Before Djokovic, Serbia had some good tennis players but tennis wasn't really a popular sport in the country. When Djokovic started winning Grand Slams and making astonishing accomplishments, tennis in Serbia experienced its first major boom.
Now, tennis is one of the most popular sports in Serbia - all thanks to Djokovic. "We should look that on a positive side. Before Novak, Serbian tennis was really not in a spotlight. We are not a country that had a tradition, I mean we still don’t, but at least now, for the future generations we might have something that is really good.
A solid base for the young ones. Is very important for us to use this generation’s legacy. Novak, (Jelena) Jankovic and the rest. What they have done needs to be used in some way, because if we skip a generation without having tradition, might be hard to bring back the same quality," Lajovic told CLAY.
Lajovic praises Djokovic's impact on Serbian tennis
Lajovic, 32, is a two-time ATP champion - the 2019 Monte Carlo Masters runner-up - has been ranked at No 23 in the world. Although Serbia has had some great players over the last two decades, no one is even near Djokovic in terms of accomplishments.
When asked whether Djokovic's success put other Serbian players in the shadow, Lajovic did not agree. "He has given us many positive things. Novak’s example is been enough to learn a lot. Probably when he ends his career, he will continue pushing Serbian tennis a lot.
We need infrastructure and a good federation that can support young players. Otherwise, all the weight goes over the families, they risk a lot to help their children to become professional, which is not the healthiest environment, because they could end economically destroyed.
The economy of the country is not in a good shape, and we can’t compare to other countries with big tournaments and instirutions. At least we can copy the good things, because we need the good players to grow. Talent is there," Lajovic said.