Djokovic delights crowd with Russian language skills
Novak Djokovic is revered for his achievements on the tennis court, but the Serbian has also earned praise for his impressive linguistic skills – as demonstrated at the Astana Open this week.
Djokovic is making his debut at the ATP 500 indoor hard-court tournament in Kazakhstan, and endeared himself to locals following his victory over Chile’s Cristian Garin on Wednesday.
Taking the microphone, the Serbian star began his post-match interview in Russian – which alongside Kazakh is one of the country’s official languages.
“Hi, Kazakhstan!” said Djokovic in Russian, receiving loud cheers from the crowd.
“It’s very nice to be here with you. Thank you for your support,” added the Serbian ace, faltering slightly but earning full praise for his efforts – before using the Kazakh phrase for ‘thank you’ just for good measure.
Djokovic’s language talents are well known. In addition to his native Serbian, the 35-year-old can converse in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish – as well as trying his hand at numerous other languages.
Djokovic also delighted Kazakh fans with his performance on court, cruising past Chile’s Garin in straight sets, 6-1 6-1.
Chasing a fourth ATP tour title of the season, Djokovic next faces Dutch world number 34 Botic van de Zandschulp in Astana on Thursday.
Elsewhere in the draw, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev plays his round-of-16 match against Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori on Thursday.
Russian pair Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev are already into the quarterfinals in Astana, with Khachanov overcoming Croatia’s Marin Cilic on Thursday and Rublev defeating China’s Zhang Zhizhen one day previously.