Tennis courts

Novak Djokovic inaugurates tennis courts in controversial Bosnian ‘pyramid park’


Recently crowned Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic on Wednesday opened tennis courts in a “pyramid park” in Bosnia 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 every year to what some believe is an ancient man-made pyramid complex with healing powers, although the claim is rejected by 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 complex of the “Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun”, alone or with family, always warmly welcomed by the founder of the unusual site, Semir Osmanagic.

According to Osmanagic, a Bosnian businessman and self-proclaimed archaeologist, the idea of ​​building a “regional training center” with two courts arose during Djokovic’s last visit in March.

“It’s a special day for Visoko, for Bosnia, for the whole region, for tennis, for sport,” Djokovic said after arriving on the new courts.

“The message of this day is peace, sport, the future and health,” he added as several hundred supporters seated near a dense forest greeted him with loud applause.

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Unusual show

The Serbian star has played exhibition matches with Croatian Ivan Dodig, Slovenian Aljaz Bedene and Bosnian tennis player Aldin Setkic.

Looking very relaxed, Djokovic put on an unusual show, making the public laugh by pretending to argue with the referees or trying to “bribe” them.

An aficionado of the ancient Osmanagic civilization has claimed for 20 years that he has discovered not one, but several pyramids built by a mysterious civilization near Visoko.

In recent years, his teams have also been cleaning underground tunnels near the “Pyramid of the Sun” and he boasts of its beneficial effects on the health of visitors.

Upon his arrival, Djokovic visited the new courts and walked through a pine forest, which is part of the park, with his host.

Djokovic meditated at the site and on each visit walked through miles of “energy” tunnels, which are, according to archaeologists, an ancient gold mine.

“Here, you just feel the energy, each in their own way. For me, it’s one of the most energetically powerful places on the planet, which I’ve seen a lot of,” Djokovic told reporters after the exhibition matches.

“I just feel that every moment spent here fills me with energy and gives me strength for the future challenges of tennis and life,” he added.

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Since Djokovic became a regular, the number of visitors from all over the former Yugoslavia has multiplied.

Djokovic and his unusual host miss no opportunity to emphasize the values ​​of peace, contrasting sharply with the constant combative and nationalist narrative pushed by the political leaders of the region devastated by the wars of the 1990s.

And Djokovic’s faith in Visoko gave locals mutual trust in him.

“This man who is so rich he can vacation on Mars is coming here,” a souvenir vendor near the entrance to the tunnels told AFP.

“He chose Visoko that no one knew. That’s proof enough that there’s something in there. It cannot be bought.

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