The Serbian star won a seventh Wimbledon title at the weekend
Djokovic was hailed in the Serbian capital. © Srdjan Stevanovic / Getty Images
Novak Djokovic was honored with a hero’s welcome as the tennis star returned to Serbia, being greeted by thousands of fans at celebrations in Belgrade to mark his latest Wimbledon title.
Djokovic wrapped up a fourth successive Wimbledon crown – and seventh in total – with a four-set victory over Australian challenger Nick Kyrgios on Sunday.
The Grand Slam title was a 21st overall for Djokovic, moving him to within one of generational rival Rafael Nadal’s record all-time tally.
Djokovic outlasts gritty Kyrgios to claim latest Wimbledon crown (VIDEO)
The Wimbledon success was all the sweeter for Djokovic considering he was prevented from defending his Australian Open title at the opening Grand Slam of the season in Melbourne when he was deported in a row over his Covid vaccine status.
The 35-year-old was forced to watch on as Nadal triumphed Down Under, before the Spaniard captured a 14th French Open title in June, defeating Djokovic along the way.
But at Wimbledon the glory was again Djokovic’s as the Serb recaptured some sensational form and Nadal was forced out injured.
On Monday in Belgrade, thousands of Djokovic fans gathered outside City Hall to enjoy celebrations which included a concert and fireworks display.
Novak Djokovic's triumphant return in Belgradepic.twitter.com/W4wOvnFi3o
— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) July 12, 2022
Djokovic emerged onto a balcony to a rapturous reception, parading his gilded Wimbledon trophy and playfully tossing tennis balls into the crowd.
Fans held signs proclaiming Djokovic the GOAT – greatest of all time – and chanted the star’s ‘Nole!’ nickname in unison.
Sve je spremno za doček @DjokerNole ispred Starog dvora! pic.twitter.com/IBouSsdikt
— Sport Klub (@sportklub) July 11, 2022
Novak Djokovic @DjokerNole & @jelenadjokovic with @handanovic and Sasa Kovacevic in Belgrade.❤️🎶🎼@DjokerNole@NDjokofan#Belgrade#Serbia#NoleFampic.twitter.com/VAlZw1RmmD
— Milica Milutinovic (@MilicaM84932667) July 12, 2022
As a national hero, Djokovic is used to being feted in his homeland for his remarkable achievements.
Throughout his Australian deportation earlier this year Djokovic was given fervent support back in Serbia, including at diplomatic level from the likes of President Aleksandar Vucic.
Wimbledon could well be the last Grand Slam of the year to feature Djokovic, with his unvaccinated status set to prevent him from being allowed entry into America for the US Open at the end of August.
Beyond that, the 2023 Australian Open in January remains uncertain, with the country typically imposing a three-year ban on visa applications for anyone who has been deported.