Djokovic breaks down as he receives hero’s welcome in Belgrade after winning US Open

The Serb was welcomed by thousands of his compatriots in Belgrade after returning from winning the US Open

Novak Djokovic, Belgrade after US Open 2023 Novak Djokovic, US Open 2023 | © Marko Drobnjakovic/AP/SIPA

Standing two Slams ahead of his closest rival Rafael Nadal and back on top of the world rankings after winning his 24th Grand Slam singles title at the US Open on Sunday, Novak Djokovic received a hero’s welcome when he touched down back in his home country.

With a throng of fans gathered to give him a hero’s welcome, Djokovic broke down at the support and love he received from his compatriots as he was joined by the Serbian men’s national basketball team, who were celebrating their recent silver medal at the FIBA World Cup.

Djokovic tried to speak to express his appreciation, but his voice choked as he got emotional before he finally was able to say a few words to the thousands who had gathered in Belgrade.

“This is a childhood dream come true, because once upon a time I was down there and celebrating,” Djokovic said.

On Sunday, Djokovic defeated Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 to win the US Open for the fourth time in his career. The win cemented his position on the all-time Grand Slam leaderboard in men’s tennis. His 24 Slams are now two ahead of Rafael Nadal, who has 22.

The Serb also reclaimed the world No 1 position from young rival Carlos Alcaraz and he has begun his 390th week at the top of the world rankings.

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