Nikola Pilic has resigned as tournament director of the new Serbia Open, reportedly due to conflicts with Srdjan Djokovic, the father of the world's No. 3 men's tennis player Novak Djokovic.
“A couple of weeks ago he held a press conference in Belgrade without previously consulting with me and spoke of things he has no place or capacity to talk about," Pilic tol a Serbian newspaper. "After that, I got into touch with the ATP and asked them to relieve me of my duty as tournament director."
The Djokovics are owners of the Serbia Open tournament; Novak's uncle, Goran, is co-director.
Many were proud that the Djokovics could make such a great difference to the exposure of tennis in Serbia, where it is now the No. 1 sport.
Having a tennis tournament in this country was seen as a great achievement for both supporters and players. However, the tournament has had a huge setback with this news.
Novak Djokovic has close ties with Pilic, as he was trained for the tennis tour by Pilic in Munich, Germany. According to Pilic, Novak had no knowledge of his father's actions and even apologised for Srdjan's antics.
Novak's father has been known for his fiery outbursts, either in support of or defence of his son.
Last May, he drove to a Serbian radio station that was broadcasting Novak's match against Rafael Nadal in the semifinals of the Hamburg Masters tournament. He proceeded to shout at the commentators for being too complimentary to Nadal and not to Novak.
After Novak's win at the 2008 Australian Open in Melbourne, his family proceeded to announce, "The King is dead. Long live the King", in reference to Roger Federer's defeat at the hands of Novak (although a bout of mononucleosis is said to have played a part in Federer's lethargy).
Similarly, in the Monte-Carlo Masters semifinal between Federer and Djokovic, Federer had to exclaim "be quiet!" to the Djokovic camp to suppress their taunts and chants.
So, is Novak feeling the strain of the implementation of the Serbia Open and his over-indulgent father?
Together with his racket change, is his on-court performance being hindered further by such off-court antics?
The ATP 250 Serbia Open is set to begin May 2 in Belgrade.