Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams share a light moment. File/ AFP
“I’m proud to officially share the news that the #AdriaTour will be held across the Balkans from June 13 to July 5 kicking off with a tournament in Belgrade.
Very grateful and excited we could make this happen to play and support humanitarian projects across the region. See you guys on court soon,” said Djokovic on a tweet on Saturday.
The tour starts on June 13 and 14 in Belgrade followed by matches in Zadar, Croatia on June 20 and 21. This will be followed by matches in Montenegro on June 27 and 28 and the tour ends in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina on July 3 and 4.
Austrian world no.3 Dominic Thiem and Bulgarian world no.19 Grigor Dimitrov have thus far confirmed their participation.
All pro tennis matches have been suspended since early March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier, Djokovic shared a video of himself practising on a clay court and his social media post read: “So happy to play on clay ... well, just for a bit with my phone in the hands. I don’t recommend this to any 18-year-old.”
This led to the club hosting Djokovic in Marbella, Spain, where Djokovic was training to apologise as Spanish tennis federation had at the time asked players to refrain from training on courts.
Meanwhile, Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has become the world’s highest-paid female athlete, making $37.4 million (34.3 million euros) in the past 12 months for an earnings record, Forbes magazine reported Friday.
The 22-year-old Asian star, a two-time Grand Slam champion, edged US rival Serena Williams by $1.4 million in prize money and endorsement income over the past year.
Both shattered the old single-year earnings mark of $29.7 million set in 2015 by Russia’s Maria Sharapova, who retired in February with five Grand Slam titles, including a career Slam.
“To those outside the tennis world, Osaka is a relatively fresh face with a great back story,” University of Southern California sports business professor David Carter told Forbes.
“Combine that with being youthful and bicultural -- two attributes that help her resonate with younger, global audiences -- and the result is the emergence of a global sports marketing icon.”
Osaka, whose father was born in Haiti and whose mother is Japanese, ranks 29th on the 2020 Forbes list of the world’s 100 top-paid athletes, four spots ahead of Williams, who has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles.
The complete list, due to be released next week, has not featured two women since 2016, according to the magazine. Williams, 38, had been the world’s highest-paid female athlete in each of the past four years. Sharapova ruled for the five years before that. Williams had annual incomes from $18 million to $29 million and has collected nearly $300 million, much of it in endorsement deals.
Naomi Osaka has won 19 consecutive matches but none of those wins came against Serena Williams. Three-time major champion Osaka will meet 23-time Grand Slam singles title winner Williams in the Australian Open semifinals on Thursday.
Japan’s Naomi Osaka brutally halted Serena’s latest bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title as defending champion Novak Djokovic declared himself fighting fit for the Australian Open final after ending the incredible run of Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev with his ‘best match’
Djokovic, the world number one, had raised the alarm over an abdominal injury after his five-set battle with Taylor Fritz, but he showed few outward signs in his 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win.
Chasing 346 for victory, New Zealand lost an early wicket before Ravindra (97) and Williamson (54) put on 137 to put their team on course and they achieved the target with 6.2 overs to spare in Hyderabad.
French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera said on Sunday French athletes would be barred from wearing a hijab during the Paris Games to respect principles of secularism.
In a video clip circulated on the “X” platform, the dog appeared on the field in a match between Dorados de Sinola and its host Albergue de Oaxaca in the 11th round of the local league.