Crowds flock to see Djokovic (VIDEO)
Hundreds of people flocked to the streets of a small town in Montenegro on Friday to get a glimpse of world tennis number one Novak Djokovic.
The 34-year-old is currently recovering from a visa and vaccine scandal Down Under that saw him deported from Australia and unable to defend his Grand Slam title in Melbourne.
And on the day that Russian rival Daniil Medvedev got through to the final to face Rafael Nadal, who can overtake Djokovic in all-time Grand Slam wins if victorious this weekend, the Serb was mobbed in the small town of Budva on the Adriatic Sea.
January 28, 2022 Budva, MontenegroNovak Djokovic welcomed in Budva with the song "Rejoice, Serb people". He will be awarded the recognition of an honorary citizen of Budva. @pavyg@NovakFanClub@NDjokofan@NBASerbians@DMDent 📸Radio Televizija Budva pic.twitter.com/hs3HtjUf4I— Zvezda je život (@FkczBelgrade) January 28, 2022
Greeted with the song "Rejoice, Serb people" in Budva, Djokovic was in town to be made an honorary citizen.
Walking through the crowd, he was given local snacks as passers-by took photos as the mayor led him to his office.
Djokovic was later captured masked and taking a seat at a table where he signed documents before posing with a giant Serbian Orthodox ornament and a document to mark his honorary citizenship.
January 28, 2022 Budva, MontenegroThe Mayor of Budva Marko Carević welcomed Novak Djoković with a traditional Serb welcome and the song "Rejoice, Serb people!" pic.twitter.com/4iymvmvaM0— Zvezda je život (@FkczBelgrade) January 28, 2022
In an address, the mayor said: "I am convinced that Novak Djokovic will be our proud Budva citizen and that this title will be as important to him as the ones he won around the world.
"He amazed and won the whole world with his successes. He filled us with pride, happiness and enthusiasm. I will dare to say that Novak won where many fell, [and that] he remained a man, his own man.
January 28, 2022 Budva, MontenegroThe Mayor of Budva: Novak, thank you for your support in the fight to preserve the Serb people & the Serb church in Montenegro. Novak remained a his own dignified man, he never had a distance between him & the people! https://t.co/PLxKlIxC4Jpic.twitter.com/UYxL0aAafq— Zvezda je život (@FkczBelgrade) January 28, 2022
"Novak, we really have no words to thank you for your presence here today. With your hard work, you have shown how to fight for your family and your people. You have never put a distance between yourself and your people, that is why we call you with great love and respect: our Nole.
"When some others did not dare and when it was difficult, we will not forget your support when it was most difficult.
"We will never forget your support during the protests in our fight to preserve the Serb people and the Serb Church in Montenegro.
"Thank you for all your victories, and all the joy you have given us! You have shown us how we all need to fight and be dignified," he added.
January 28, 2022 - Budva, MontenegroNovak Djoković, honorary citizen of the city of Budva. pic.twitter.com/5kuGt8hYBN— Zvezda je život (@FkczBelgrade) January 28, 2022
After being forced to miss the Australian Open, Djokovic is next expected to be in action on the ATP Tour in Dubai on February 21.