Djokovic opens regional tennis centre at Bosnian Pyramids park

By Daria Sito-Sucic

VISOKO, Bosnia (Reuters) – Thousands flocked to a green valley in central Bosnia on Wednesday to witness Serbian great Novak Djokovic opening a regional tennis centre, where future generations will be able to hone their skills.

Djokovic arrived in Bosnia just days after he captured his seventh Wimbledon title, taking his overall Grand Slam haul to 21.

Djokovic played exhibition matches with players from the Balkan region – Bosnian Aldin Setkic, Slovenian Aljaz Bedene and Croatian Ivan Dodig – to mark the opening of the centre.

Bosnia-born businessman Semir Osmanagic has financed the new tennis centre which is built in his Bosnian Pyramids park near the town of Visoko.

Osmanagic, who said the hills in Visoko were actually pyramids – a claim denounced as a hoax by many archaeologists – said there was a possibility of partnership with Djokovic at a later stage.

“The first step has been taken, this is only the beginning,” Djokovic said.

Djokovic has been a regular visitor to the pyramid site, which Osmanagic has turned into a park aimed at visitors seeking a spiritual experience, and often meditates in its underground tunnels.

“For me, this is one of the most powerful energy spots on the planet, it fills me with the strength for new challenges in tennis and life,” Djokovic said after taking part in the light-hearted exhibition matches.

The fans were delighted to see him.

“He is a good man above all,” said Milica, who arrived with her husband from the northern town of Gradiska to see Djokovic.

“I wish there were more such positive people.”

(Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)