03 April 2008 Mitrovica _ Serbia’s best tennis player, Novak Djokovic, was greeted by thousands of Kosovo Serb fans when he visited Mitrovica.
“All my tennis victories I devote to you people. My family is also from Kosovo,” Djokovic said.
Djokovic, who is seeded third in the global men’s tennis rankings, visited his admirers at a tennis court some two kilometers north in Zvecan, where his father was born, and where Djokovic has been declared an honorary citizen.
This is not the first time Djokovic has expressed patriotic sentiment over Kosovo.
He addressed a huge rally in Belgrade on February 21 via a video link where he expressed his defiance to ‘Kosovo’s unilateral act of independence.’
The rally was followed by riots and looting in the Serbian capital, that saw the United States Embassy, along with several others, partially torched and shops in the city centre looted.
Dozens of Serbian actors, singers, sportsman, and other public persons have already addressed Kosovo Serbs in the northern half of the divided town of Mitrovica.
Some stars have courted controversy.
Serbian swimmer, Milorad Cavic was suspended from the European Championships when he appeared in a ceremony to collect his gold medal wearing a ‘Kosovo Is Serbia’ t-shirt. Sports stars are barred from making political statements during events.
Kosovo Serbs in north Mitrovica have held protests on a near-daily basis since the declaration of independence from Serbia by Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian leaders on February 17.
Copyright BalkanInsight.com 2008