Novak Djokovic caused a political controversy during his match at Roland Garros on Monday. Following his victory over Aleksandar Kovacevic, an American player, the Serbian world No. 3 wrote a nationalist and anti-Kosovo message on a camera. The message read, "Kosovo is the heart of Serbia, stop the violence."
Clearing the air post match
"I hear there was a lot of criticism on social media, I don't know if someone will punish me or something like that, but I would do it again," Djokovic said.
"I am against wars and conflicts of any kind.
"I am not a politician, nor do I intend to enter into debates.
"As a Serb, it hurts me what is happening in Kosovo, our people have been expelled from the municipalities.
"There are no Grand Slam rules on what a player can and cannot say. The least I could do is this, I feel responsible as a public figure and the son of a man who was born in Kosovo, I feel the need to show support to all of Serbia."
It is important to note that Serbia does not officially recognise Kosovo's independence, despite the latter declaring independence in 2008. Although Serbia lacks formal control over Kosovo, tensions have escalated recently due to a variety of factors. These include Serbs boycotting local elections and attempting to prevent newly-elected Albanian mayors from assuming their positions. These developments have contributed to a heightened atmosphere of unrest and conflict in the region.