Djokovic ‘denied 14 payments’ by his own country as Serb faces five-year delay

Novak Djokovic on the importance of routines

Novak Djokovic has reportedly been denied a series of pension payments by the Serbian government due to a mix-up with his documents. The 23-time Grand Slam winner may have to wait five years longer than planned to boost his bank account, which is already flush with cash due to a successful career on court.

Djokovic earned the right to a ‘sports pension’ in Serbia by virtue of winning a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games. Under the rules at the time of his achievement, the payments should have started kicking in after the tennis star’s 35th birthday.

However, according to Sportklub, Djokovic has been missing out on the instalments due to a mistake by the Tennis Association of Serbia (TSS).

The TSS should have submitted the relevant documentation for Djokovic’s sports pension within 30 days of his medal at the Olympics.

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However, the deadline was missed and the rules changed the following year, stating that athletes due a sports pension would only start receiving their monthly payments at the age of 40.

Djokovic has missed 14 instalments so far and he will have gone without 60 by the time he turns 40, presuming a resolution is not found before the five-year delay runs its course. Thankfully for the 36-year-old, he is hardly wanting for cash.

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With more Grand Slam titles than any other player in men’s tennis history, Djokovic has amassed a staggering net worth estimated at £188million, which puts him ahead of ‘Big Three’ rival Rafael Nadal but a long way behind Roger Federer, who previously held a blockbuster sponsorship deal with Nike.

On the court, Djokovic is gearing up for a bid to add to his Grand Slam haul at the US Open later this month. The veteran recently reflected on his Wimbledon defeat to Carlos Alcaraz earlier this summer, ahead of a return to action at the Cincinnati Masters.

“It’s not the first [nor] the last match that I lost, so I was over it in a day,” Djokovic explained. “Obviously, I needed some really good rest after that, and some time with my family, and that’s what I did. So, of course, I was regretting not using the chances during that final.

“I was a set up and had some set points in the second and I felt that I was close to being in the lead. And then, obviously, some break points in the fifth.

“It was a close match, but well deserved from his side, because to win he played better in the important moments, and that’s what I said after the final. I think he was a deserved winner and that’s it really, pretty much. You move on.”

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