Tennis icon Novak Djokovic lands in Israel

Legendary Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic landed in Israel on Monday night, as he is set to play in the ATP tournament in Tel Aviv.

Djokovic (photo credit: REUTERS)
Djokovic
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic landed in the private Fattal Terminal of Ben Gurion Airport on Monday to take part in the Israeli tournament of the ATP tour.

While in the terminal, he stayed in a private room, where he took the time to write in the guest book: "Shalom Israel, I am very happy and excited to be back in Israel. Looking forward to a great experience."

Djokovic will enter the 2022 Tel Aviv Watergen Open in the top-16 stage, where he'll play the winner of the upcoming match between Brazilian Thiago Monteiro and Spanish Pablo Andújar.

Djokovic's Israeli partner

In the doubles tournament, Djokovic will be teamed up with Israeli doubles great Yoni Erlich, the winner of the 2008 Men's doubles Australian open.

For Erlich, this tournament will be even more special, as it will be his last, concluding one of the greatest tennis careers for an Israeli player. At age 45, Erlich will get to have one last ride, playing with one of the greatest tennis players in history.

  Israel's Jonathan Erlich and Serbia's Novak Djokovic (R) celebrate with the trophy after their win in the mens doubles final, June 13, 2010. (credit: PAUL CHILDS/REUTERS) Israel's Jonathan Erlich and Serbia's Novak Djokovic (R) celebrate with the trophy after their win in the mens doubles final, June 13, 2010. (credit: PAUL CHILDS/REUTERS)

This is not the first time the Serbian icon will partner with Erlich, as the two won Djokovic's only doubles title in 2010, at the Queen's Club Championships.

Djokovic visited Israel early on in his career, when he led the Serbian Tennis National Team to beat Israel in the Davies cup in 2006. Since then, Djokovic became one of the most successful tennis players of all time, winning 21 Grand Slam Tournaments, the second most in history. 

Recently, he took part in the Laver Cup in London, where he played for Team Europe, playing in the doubles game with Scottish tennis player Andy Murray. Joining the pair in Team Europe were Spanish Rafael Nadal and Swiss Roger Federer who played the last game of his career at the tournament. 

Djokovic missed two Grand Slam tournaments this year, due to his refusal to get a COVID-19 vaccine.