The Roland-Garros tournament has a rather delicate start on the geopolitical level... On Sunday, the more than tense end of the match between the Belarusian Sabalenka and the Ukrainian Kostyuk placed the debate on the ground of the Russian invasion in Ukraine and the enmity that reigns between the players concerned by the conflict for more than a year.
But that was almost nothing compared to the message delivered by world No. 3 Novak Djokovic after Monday's victory over American Kovacevic. As is customary, the Serb took a felt pen after the match to write a few words on the camera.
Except that the phrase in question had nothing of thanks, jokes or hearts to the viewers. The Belgradois wrote "Kosovo I srce Srbije. Stop nasilju! "Kosovo is the heart of Serbia, stop the violence! ", while relations between Serbia and Kosovo have been marked in recent weeks by a new resurgence of tensions.
"Kosovo is the heart of Serbia. Stop the violence", this is the message of the number 3 of world tennis, the Serbian Novak Djokovic, which arouses controversy... pic.twitter.com/WDmeIEJHHc
— TV5MONDE Info (@TV5MONDEINFO) May 30, 2023
Words reminiscent of the nationalist slogan "Kosovo je Srbija", "Kosovo is Serbia", used by opponents of Kosovo's independence since 2008 and regularly sung at rallies. "As the son of a man born in Kosovo, I feel a responsibility to support our people and all of Serbia," Djokovic told a news conference.
Still, the ethical charter of the French Tennis Federation is clear and prohibits any political claim on the court. The FFT has therefore found itself under the fire of questions on possible sanctions to be taken against the one who is in search this fortnight of a 23rd Grand Slam.
Embarrassed by the surroundings, the fedé took twenty-four hours to publish a press release in a sublime language of a wood as strong as that of the benches that adorn the aisles. We are always looking for the interest...
Novak Djokovic wrote "Kosovo is the heart of Serbia. Stop the violence" after his win today at Roland Garros pic.twitter.com/75fSplaVZZ
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) May 29, 2023
"The debates that cross the international news are sometimes invited on the sidelines of the tournament, it is understandable, write the organizers. We regularly discuss this subject within the Grand Slam Board, which brings together the four Grand Slam tournaments. The rules that apply are common to all four tournaments, and the umpire, together with the Grand Slam supervisors, ensure that they are respected. Messages are passed on to the teams of the players concerned in this regard. »
Circulate, there is nothing to see. We are therefore waiting for other resonances of international news on the courts of the Porte d'Auteuil to see if the tournament decides to strengthen its game...