The Serbia Open isn't slated to debut until May but it already has its first controversy courtesy of - who else? - papa Srdjan Djokovic.
Niki Pilic, owner of the high-regarded Niki Pilic Tennis Academy where a 12-year old Novak Djokovic trained, has reportedly resigned from his position as Tournament Director of the upcoming tourney due to conflicts with Srdjan.
Via Blic (translated by Google):
Nikola Pilić, advisor to the Serbian Davis Cup team, resigned as one of the tournament directors of the Serbia Open, which will be held from May 2 to 10 in Belgrade.
Pilic, known tennis expert and owner of a tennis academy in Munich, decided he no longer wanted be a part of the first ATP tournament (450,000 dollars) in Serbia because of Srdjan Djoković.
“He (Srdjan Djoković) held a news conference a few weeks ago in Belgrade without consulting with me, and said things that he’s not eligble to say. I then called the ATP and asked them to release me as Acting Director of the tournament.” Nikola Pilić told the Evening Gazette.
Pilić’s conflict with Srdjan Djoković should not have consequences for his role with the Serbian Davis Cup team, because his professional commitments are to Novak, not his father.
Papa Djoko is no stranger to controversy of course. Last season, Srdjan publicly lashed out at Davis Cup organizers after Serbia was drawn against Spain in this year's opening tie (which they lost) a year after being drawn against Russia in the opening round.
Not surprising news, really. But I had heard some talk that Niki was also an investor in the tourney as well though there was no mention either way in the article. Can someone confirm?