The special events are starting to come in now, as most players are back on court training, and some of the more restrictive coronavirus mitigation measures have been eased.
The latest is Novak Djokovic’s Adria Cup, which will take a group of players throughout the Balkans over four weekends, beginning June 13-14 in Belgrade, Serbia.
Concurrently, Djokovic’s longtime friend Janko Tipsarevic is organizing an event called the “Eastern European Championships”, with a roster of solid ATP and WTA pros already announced.
It remains to be seen whether the two events will clash with each other, but they are quite different in nature.
The Adria Open has a humanitarian goal – to raise money for projects in the region, including the Novak Djokovic Foundation’s Early Childhood Development and Education programs.
Thiem, Dimitrov on board with Djokovic
After the first weekend in Belgrade, the Tour will move to Zadar, Croatia followed by Montenegro and Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzogovina. A finale in Sarajevo (also in Bosnia-Herzogovina) between Djokovic and local hero Damir Dzumhur is scheduled to wrap it up July 5.
The press release announces that world No. 3 Dominic Thiem is on board, as well as Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov and other unnamed “major European players”. It’s a two-day format with two teams of four. And while the details haven’t been made public yet, it appears that the cast might be different in every city, although Djokovic has committed to playing all four weekends.
That means perhaps Borna Coric and Marin Cilic in Zadar, and … Milos Raonic in Montenegro? (So, basically, the Monte Carlo City Open). It would be quite a moment for Raonic, who was born in Montenegro but left when he was a toddler, to play a competitive event in his homeland.
The event will air on SportKlub TV; there will be the usual things like celebrity hit and giggles, and events for the kids.
The Belgrade opener will be preceded by a tournament put on by the Serbian Tennis Association, with a regular format, from the Monday through Friday.
The details for both exhibitions are still somewhat unclear, although the Djokovic event is set up as eight matches on the first weekend day with each player on each team of four playing twice.
Each player will play one more match on the second day, with a finale between the two group winners each weekend. The format will be best-of-four.
Also unknown at this point is whether fans will be allowed to attend Djokovic’s tour. If they are, they’ll make tickets available for each session.
Tipsarevic lets the ladies play
Tipsarevic’s tournament, which was announced May 9, has two big differences from the one Djokovic is headlining.
There’s prize money. And the women are invited.
Among the names revealed so far on the men’s side: Miomir Kecmanovic, Laslo Djere, Viktor Troicki, Nikoloz Basilashvili, Dusan Lajovic, Ricardas Berankis, Danilo Petrovic, Peda Krstin, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Damir Dzumhur. (Dzumhur and Troicki are set for Djokovic’s tour as well).
For the women: Irina Bara, Tamara Zidansek, Olga Danilovic, Jana Fett, Irina Camelia Begu, Jasmine Paolini, Patricia Maria Tig, Danka Kovinic and Dalila Jakupovic are among those who have confirmed.