Mumbai: Reigning Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, who began his journey in the 2024 edition of the tournament in style, addressed the young kids in India aspiring to take up tennis as a profession, following his straight sets win over Argentinian Tomas Martin Etcheverry.
“I wish to be part of some programs designed particularly for the development of kids in their early childhood because that is something, I’m very passionate about. That is also the cornerstone of our foundation. I would like to see more children grabbing a racquet and playing tennis. Being a tennis player, seeing that happen will fill my heart with joy,” he was quoted as saying.
During an earlier interview with Sony Sports Network panellist Somdev Devvarman, Djokovic spoke about his admiration for Indian cricketer Virat Kohli.
Speaking with Sania Mirza on Friday, the 36-year-old went on to express his love for India, saying, “I feel I have a special connection with India. I love the people there; they have been very kind to me and are one of the most genuine and gentle people in the world. They love their sports with cricket being the most followed obviously. But tennis, as I understand, is followed great across the country too.”
He went on to reminisce about an exhibition match that he participated in 2014 in New Delhi along with Roger Federer and several other tennis legends and also opened up on his dream of exploring the country soon.
“Hopefully, there are many years ahead of me so that I can spend more time in your beautiful country and we can work on the mission of empowering more kids to take up tennis,” he concluded.
Next up, Djokovic will face France’s Adrian Mannarino in the fourth round of Australian Open 2024 on Sunday.