Novak Djokovic, recently crowned Wimbledon champion, arrived in Bosnia on Wednesday to inaugurate tennis courts in a “pyramid park” which he regularly visits to recharge his batteries.
The tennis star, known for his new-age spiritual interests, loves the mountainous town of Visoko, where thousands of people flock each year to what some believe is an ancient man-made pyramid complex with healing powers – a claim dismissed by the scientists.
The 35-year-old Serb, who won his 21st Grand Slam title on Sunday, visited the site for the first time in 2020 and called it “heaven on earth”.
He returned at least four times to the “Bosnian Pyramids of the Sun” complex, alone or with family, to always be warmly welcomed by its founder Semir Osmanagic.
Bosnian businessman and ancient civilization enthusiast Osmanagic said the idea of building a regional tennis training center arose during Djokovic’s last visit in March.
“We have agreed to build two courts in our park for the training of top players, one hard court and another with a clay surface,” Osmanagic told reporters recently.
The idea is to offer Djokovic’s players and friends the opportunity to train and have free accommodation, he explained.
“We also want to organize a Pyramid Cup here for players from the region and especially want to motivate young people to practice tennis and other sports”.
The inauguration will be marked by full-day events with several exhibition matches, including by Djokovic and Croatian Ivan Dodig, world number 17.
Upon his arrival, Djokovic visited the new courts and walked through a pine forest, which is part of the park, with his host, according to an AFP journalist.
Osmanagic, a self-proclaimed archaeologist, claims for two decades to have discovered several pyramids built by a mysterious civilization close to Visoko.
In recent years, his teams have also been cleaning underground tunnels near the “Pyramids of the Sun” and he boasts of its beneficial effects on the health of visitors.
Djokovic meditated at the site and on each visit walked through miles of “energy” tunnels, which archaeologists say are an ancient gold mine.
In 2020, Djokovic told AFP he felt “refreshed” after the visit.
“I know there are a lot of doubts and dilemmas about the authenticity” of the place, he said.
But “to fully understand what is happening here… you have to come”.
Djokovic said on Monday he was unlikely to play at this year’s US Open as he continues to refuse to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.