19 Jan 2011

Djokovic urges Balkan tennis fans to behave

8:45 am on 19 January 2011

The world tennis number three Novak Djokovic has urged Serbian and Croatian fans not to repeat their Australian Open rioting in Melbourne.

Djokovic, who's a Serb, will play Croatian Ivan Dodig today in a second-round match which has potential for crowd violence similar to that seen at the 2007 and 2009 tournaments.

He says the Serbian and Croatian players are good friends off the court and there's no reason to create any sort of bad feeling over their countries' past problems.

Four years ago Serbian and Croatian fans battered each other with flagpoles, bottles and boots around the Melbourne Park precinct.

And two years ago Djokovic's match against Bosnia-born Amer Delic triggered further between Bosnians and Serbs with a flying chair hitting a girl and up to 30 people ejected.