Djokovic accompanied, Ehrlich said goodbye in tears: "I cried enough, thank you for coming"
Exciting moments at the ATP tournament in Tel Aviv, when the 45-year-old Israeli officially retired: "I'm sorry I couldn't give you this last performance."
Djokovic addressed the audience in Hebrew and praised Ehrlich: "He brought great honor to Israel, worthy of admiration"
Wednesday, September 28, 2022, 6:46 p.m
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Novak Djokovic practices on the beach in Tel Aviv (from Twitter)
Exciting moments tonight (Wednesday) at the Expo complex in Tel Aviv, when Yoni Ehrlich officially retired from tennis at the end of an exciting day in which he tried to prepare himself for the doubles match with Novak Djokovic in the Watergen tournament.
The 45-year-old Israeli tennis player had to give up participation due to severe back pain and went on the court to say goodbye to the crowd, accompanied by his Serbian friend, one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
"As you know, today's game will unfortunately not take place," Ehrlich said through tears.
"This was supposed to be my last tournament, but three days ago I suffered from severe back pain and I didn't train. Together with my amazing team we tried to train me even 50 percent - and I swear to you that I would go on the court and give the best performance I can give even in -50 percent. I cried enough, I fell apart in the dressing room, but thank you very much for coming. I made a tremendous effort to be here today and I'm sorry I can't give you this show."
a warm hug
Novak Djokovic with Yoni Ehrlich (Photo: Reuters)
Erlich said to Djokovic: "Israelis and Serbs always have a good relationship and we always feel at home. Everyone knows how amazing a player you are, but you are also an amazing person and for me that is even more important. Being a good tennis player is one thing, but being A good person is much more important. I call you my friend and I am happy for our friendship since 2010. I love you and wish you success and break the record, you more than deserve it."
Djokovic replied to Erlich: "Hello, what's up?" He said first in Hebrew, "That's all I know how to say - also 'thank you', 'yes' and 'okay', I'll probably learn more words this week.
I am happy to be in Israel for the first time after 15 years, I remember being with Serbia in Davis and it was an atmosphere I will never forget.
As Yoni said, there has been a great friendship between Israelis and Serbs for many years, unfortunately we cannot compete with you today, but we cannot forget the amazing moments this man brought to Israeli sports and to tennis.
He deserves great respect and admiration.
We won our title together in London, in Queens - and I wish him the best of luck.
You know I'm always happy to help Israeli tennis.
Thank you very much for coming, cheers to June."
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