Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic admits he was intrigued by the idea of playing in Montenegro but he decided to refuse the proposal after giving it a serious thought. Djokovic, the founder of the Adria Tour, wanted to visit four Balkan countries and he hoped to play an exhibition match against Raonic in Montenegro.
Raonic was born in the capital city of Montenegro, Podgorica, and Djokovic thought it would be great to set up an exhibition match there between him and the 2016 Wimbledon runner-up. "I have never played in front of most of my cousins," Raonic said, per TSN.
"I've never played in front of my grandmother and aunts and uncles so I did consider it. But if the US Open was going to happen I didn't foresee myself travelling to Europe and back. I felt like that was an unnecessary risk."
The Adria Tour events in Belgrade and Zadar featured packed crowds. "My understanding was most of those events were probably going to be with no public and probably by the time we got around to Montenegro there would be the chance of there being public attendance," Raonic said.
"Personally, I wouldn't have felt comfortable especially with the promotional events that were being done."
Milos Raonic suggests Djokovic's opinion on the US Open won't have that much weight
After the US Open organizers revealed the strict safety measures planned for this year's event, world No.
1 Djokovic was the biggest name to come out and publicly criticize them. 17-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic didn't hold back as he said those measured were "extreme" and "almost impossible" "I know he was one of those against the idea of coming to the US Open and, at an early point, said under those conditions he doesn't see how you can be holding a grand slam," Raonic pointed out.
"I think maybe after this series of events that specific argument for him doesn't carry as much weight. On this specific topic, especially leading up to the US Open, there won't be as much gravitas behind his comments."
Meanwhile, the US Open organizers have received the green light to stage this year's event as initially scheduled from August 31 - September 13. A bit surprisingly, former world No. 3 Milos Raonic has never made it past the round-of-16 at the US Open.