These quotes by both Serbian and Greek representatives speak for themselves:
Former Foreign Minister George Andreas Papandreou, 15 March 2003, Belgrade:
"As a Greek I swear eternal friendship with the Serb people."
HRH Crown Princess Katherine, 18 December 2004:
"We have more in common than differences. The Greek people stood by our side more than any other nation. Up there we do not say the Greeks, we say our brothers. Whatever happens here – let's hope the time will never come – they will be by your side in no time. They are yours. You have won their brotherhood."
Bishop Nicolas of Sarajevo, Cyprus in July 1994 (20th anniversary of the Turkish invasion):
"We, the Serbs, are blessed to have God in heaven and Hellenes on earth. You the Hellenes have us Serbs as your friends. We will continue the struggle you undertook in 1974 against the Muslims until Constantinople becomes a centre for Orthodoxy." -
Former Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis Mitsotakis
"The Serbs are our true friends ...
greeks and serbs = orthodox brothers
UNITED WE STAND.
DIVIDED WE FALL.
NUMBER 3 IN THE WORLD OF TENNIS.
Champion of two ATP Masters Series in Miami and Montreal.
Australian Open Champion in 2008.
Champion in Indian Wells 2007.
Overall in single matched he has won:
Grand Slam 1
ATP Masters Series 2
ATP Tour 5
Amazing achievement for someone who is currently only 20 years of age.
Does great impersonations of Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova.
Great personality. Backed up with great tennis skills.
ROGER FEDERER (September 2007)
"He is a very complete player. The best after myself and Rafa. I have to say I’m impressed with his game, because when I was his age I didn’t have such great results."
NATALIE DESSAY, opera singer (September 2007)
After he sang a few notes in the New York Metropolitan Opera House: "Novak has a bad voice, but he is a good tennis player. Such a young man, he could even be my son in terms of age, and he is so good-spirited and refreshing. And such a wonderful tennis player."
BJORN BORG (August 2007)
"Djokovic is definitely ready to win a Grand Slam. This guy can beat any player on the ATP Tour. He has just proved that, by beating them in the last couple of days. He is still very young, and is level with Federer and Nadal."
"He is a great player, has an excellent game, and can play well on any surface. He had a brilliant run at this year’s Wimbledon, which he can repeat at the US Open, but I’m convinced he will do much better at Grand Slam tournaments next year.
RAFAEL NADAL (May 2007)
"He won Miami, Estoril, Adelaide, he played the final of Indian Wells. Novak is full of confidence. He is a very good player, who will stay at the top for a very long time."
"Novak is an amazing player whose time has yet to come. He will have a great future, and already he is near the top. With the results he achieved in the last few months he will soon enter the top ten. He plays solid from the baseline, and is able to produce winners from any part of the court."
"I think that by the end of 2007 Novak will enter the top five in ATP ranking."
MARIANO PUERTA (October 2006)
"Novak is a future champion. Next time he comes to Bersi he will be inside the top 30, I’m sure. He is so young, and he plays so well!"
JOHN McENROE (September 2005)
Serbia’s best ranked tennis player Djokovic today received what is quite possibly the greatest compliment in his fledgling career. Before the start of tonight’s late match at the US Open, featuring Spaniard Rafael Nadal and American Scoville Jenkins (both 19), the legendary John McEnroe, commenting for the ‘USA’ TV Network (which broadcasts matches from Flushing Meadows), talked about talented young players who, together with Nadal (currently world number two) should reach the upper echelons of the tennis world in the coming years. One of the three names he mentioned was the 18 year old’s from Belgrade.
“There are definitely several very talented young players such as Monfils, Djokovic or Murray... I expect over the next year or so they will be inside the top 20 ATP players", said McEnroe during a live broadcast.
The oldest of the three players McEnroe mentioned is Frenchman Monfils, who turns 19 today; Briton Andy Murray will celebrate his 19th birthday on May 15th next year, and Djokovic a week later, May 22nd 2006. Monfils is currently the best ranked player (43), Djokovic is 97 and Murray is 122; despite this fact, both Djokovic and Murray are still competing at this year’s US Open Championships.
"The 18 year-old from Serbia has a great future. He plays an aggressive game from any part of the court. He will be a force to be reckoned with over the next decade or so. This will be his breakthrough year in terms of winning a big title, with maybe even Australian Open being his first success, where he qualified for the main draw for the for the time last year.”
MARAT SAFIN (January 2005)
"I wish this boy all the best, because he is an amazing talent and has massive potential!"
I began working with Novak Djokovic in 1994, when he was seven.
After only a couple of months of my coaching him, I saw I was dealing with an amazing and extraordinary talent.
As a tennis coach and expert, I workd and travelled around the world with Monica Seles, Goran Ivanisevic, Iva Majoli, Tatjana Jecmenica and Sabrina Goles and I can freely say that Novak Djokovic is the first great talent to emerge in this region since Monica Seles.
Three years ago I created a work programme for Novak Djokovic and he has already realised this five-year plan and achieved successes even beyond the expected.
Novak is totally ready, both physically and mentally, for big competitions and greater achievements. He is very intelligent and good person, he thinks clearly out on the court and is prepared to work hard, which is very important for his future development and career advancement.
I sincerely believe that with the optimum training conditions and good organisation, within two to three years he could achieve marked results in professional tennis.
Prof. Jelena Gencic
A number of talent scouts present at the 26th European Championships in San Remo had an opportunity to fill their notebooks. Never before have we been able to witness such a pool of high quality players, both male and female, with certain competitors standing out as extremely impressive. Such is the case with the winners, 14 year-old Yugoslav Novak Djokovic and 13 year –old Russian-born Frenchwoman, Tatiana Golovin, two early favourites, who not only did as predicted, but did so with such confidence and personality which separates top sportspeople from the rest. It was the first time since the inception of the European Under-14 Championships that they have been won by a Yugoslav and a Frenchwoman whose names will be added on to the rich list of famous tennis stars (Vilander, Edberg, Enquist, Graff, Seles, Hingis, Tommy Robredo i Justin Enan Ardenne).
As in the past we had balance when writing about Robredo and Ancic, and the Belgians Enan and Clijsters, so too shall we write about the Yugoslav, Novak Djokovic, boy with a ‘velvety’ feel for the ball, who can hit the ball hard, but above all he is a player who is extremely intelligent tactically speaking and very string mentally so that he is sure to go far.
We talked about a high technical level which featured some other interesting names…and our Jari Natali. Our representative was ‘thrashed’ in the semi-final by a too-strong Novak Djokovic.