5 Jul 2011

Thousands welcome Wimbledon champion Djokovic

9:29 am on 5 July 2011

An estimated 100,000 Serbian tennis fans gave Novak Djokovic a royal reception in central Belgrade on Monday as the 24-year-old arrived home to celebrate winning his first Wimbledon title.

Djokovic was greeted by a deafening roar as he arrived in an open-top bus which took hours to reach the Serbian Parliament Square from the airport.

Traffic on the main motorway ground to a halt as fans got out of their cars to salute Serbia's most popular athlete, whose entire family paraded alongside him on a giant stage where rock bands entertained the crowd.

An elated Djokovic held aloft the trophy he won with an emphatic four-set win over Spaniard Rafael Nadal in Sunday's final.

The tennis champion and his two younger brothers then joined rock, pop and folk bands on stage in singing local chartbusters, as fans lit flares and waved Serbian flags.

Djokovic will lead Davis Cup holders Serbia in their quarter-final tie away to Sweden next weekend.