Kristina Mladenovic came to Novak Djokovic's defense after the Serb received a backlash following his Kosovo message at the French Open. Following his first-round win at Roland Garros, Djokovic wrote on a camera lens: "Kosovo is the heart of Serbia.
End the violence." In 2008, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia and since then has been recognized as a sovereign state by 100 countries. But Serbia has never recognized Kosovo's sovereignty. Mladenovic, who was born in France and represents France, has Serbian roots as her father was born in Gjilane, a town in Kosovo and Metohija.
Mladenovic comes to Djokovic's defense
"Novak is great, he is a real example for everyone else. I saw that. Many people are allowed to talk about Russia and Ukraine, everyone has an opinion, but that's not political? On the other hand, this, this is political? Yes, I share Novak's position, Kosovo is the heart of Serbia for me as well.
My father is from Gjilane, my grandmother lived there and I was there when I was a child," Mladenovic told Telegraf. Meanwhile, Djokovic is currently on a mission to win a record 23rd Grand Slam title at this year's French Open.
Mladenovic acknowledged Djokovic is always a Grand Slam favorite and revealed she is rooting for the Serb to make it all the way at Roland Garros. "As for Nole, for me he is always a favorite. Wherever he appears, he is always a favorite.
Maybe it's a little subjective, but I hope that he will get his 23rd Grand Slam trophy here. Alcaraz is good, and he has his chance, he is young, but Novak is more experienced and there is no tournament that he comes to without being the main contender for winning it," Mladenovic said.
It remains to be seen if Djokovic can win his third French Open title this year. If Djokovic wins the French Open, he will officially surpass Rafael Nadal on the all-time Grand Slam race.
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