Djordje Djokovic, brother of world no.1 Nole and director of the new ATP 250 in Belgrade, gave an interview on the Wish & Go podcast before the start of the tournament, in which he talked about the possible presence of Roger Federer in the event next season.
He said: "In October we learned that there was an opportunity to purchase the Budapest tournament license from Ion Tiriac. We talked to him and his entourage, and he immediately showed interest, as we have known each other for a long time and have a good relationship with him.
In December we managed to reach an agreement, thus obtaining a five-year license with a purchase option. We didn't invite Roger Federer this year because we had to stay within a certain budget; we couldn't afford to spend it on just one player.
We still hope to see him in Belgrade in the next few years. I sincerely hope we can have him here before the end of the season. I can promise you that we will invite him next year Our goal is to become a 500; if we succeed, we will certainly buy the license.
This is why we looked for a week where it would be possible to organize a 500; It is true that Barcelona is played simultaneously, but it would not be the first time with two tournaments of this category in the same slot.
We are proud to have managed to secure a prize pool of this size. The players are our ambassadors, and we need to take care of them. A large prize money has always been one of my priorities, in order to attract high-level players and meet the expectations of the ATP.
We want to show ourselves and others that we are ready to host a 500. I asked Novak not to collaborate in organizing the tournament, because we want to treat him like other players; I want him to have fun and be a player. Sure, he was involved in the licensing process and is excited about the return of the tournament, but I think I'll be able to surprise him when he sees what we have prepared for the players."
We know there is not much sympathy between the family of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. This became very clear after the statements that Srdjan Djokovic, father of Nole, has made towards the Swiss Maestro in the last two years.
Always misplaced and incomprehensible statements, especially because they then reflect on Novak. Statements that Nole, however, has never denied or stopped, or commented on. Now Novak's brother, Djordje, takes care of trying to stretch an olive branch on the matter.