Novak Djokovic is facing criticism in Serbia for inviting Goran Ivanisevic to join his coaching team at Wimbledon.
Serbia’s state-controlled tabloids called it a “scandalous” partnership between the top-ranked Serb and the former Wimbledon champion from Croatia.
Croatia fought a bloody war for independence from Serb-led Yugoslavia in the 1990s and nationalist sentiments still run high in both countries.
Pro-government Belgrade tabloid Informer quoted former NBA center Darko Milicic as saying that Djokovic’s move is “an insult to his fans.”
Milicic said that whenever Djokovic “displays outbursts of love toward Croats” he thinks of Djokovic’s fans “who have gone through harassment, expulsions and loss of their loved ones during the war.”
Ivanisevic, who won the men’s singles title in 2001, has told Serbian media he received “a rather unexpected call” from Djokovic ahead of the grass court tournament.
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