The ATP Srpska Open 2023 - Banja Luka
This edition of the blog starts with the completion of some 6 months construction at the location of the inaugral ATP Srpska Open.
Banja Luka was chosen to host an ATP 250 event from 16-23 April 2023, to replace the usual annual event held in Belgrade.
The city is no stranger to the ATP circuit, having held an ATP Challenger Tour event since 2003.
However to host this new prestigious sports event, a new complex has been constructed in the centre of the city.
Based on the existing (albeit small) tennis complex located within "Mladen Stojanović" park, the existing courts have been renovated, as well as a new “Centre Court”, with a capacity of 6,000 seats.
"Today, opening this tennis centre in our city, I must admit that I am very happy, because I know what it means for our city. Great players are waiting for us, led by Novak Djokovic. That's why I'm especially happy that our kids, kids from Republika Srpska, will have the opportunity to train and work in a tennis centre like this," - Bojan Vujić, President of the organising committee of the tournament.
Some of the Top Seeds Attending
The ATP Srpska Open 2023 will be played on a clay surface and consists of both singles and doubles tennis.
The overall prize money is €562,815, with the winner taking home some €85,605.
From my point of view, this is a massive step forward for Banja Luka. With a worldwide tennis audience of possibly millions, following online and through terrestrial and satellite TV channels, the exposure the city will get is immeasurable.
Will this ATP 250 become an annual event?
Only time will tell, but I for one, would welcome it.
This week we had a wonderful, but seriously short visit by one of my former colleagues that I hadnt seen for over 25 years.
Rosie, and her husband Paul dropped down for a 2 day visit to the country, where they both had served back in the UNPROFOR days of the mid 1990’s. Back then, Rosie was a British Army media officer and Paul, a Royal Navy pilot.
We managed to catch up (over Rakija and wine), walk around Banja Luka as well as walk up to the mounument that overlooks the city, and Rosie and Paul took a day driving to places that they wanted to revisit “for old times sake”.
As I said, all too short, but I think we will be seeing them again for a much less “fast and furious visit”.
This year we’re off for a week to Montenegro, on the banks of Boko Bay, near Kotor. We’ll be there during the last week of August.
Of course there will be a podcast, and maybe a few videos and images as well 😀.
We have spent many many summers there over the years. This time however we’ll be flying. Instead of the 9 hour drive, Tamara and I have opted for a 45 minute journey from Banja Luka direct to Tivat with Air Montenegro.
The flights are extremely competitively priced. So, another adventure awaits.
⬇️ Watch our Montenegro Playlist. Click on the Image Below ⬇️
Gin from Bosnia and Herzegovina
We have just taken receipt of some Bosnian Gin. We have taken a sip, and it’s quite reasonable. It’s going to be kept however, to share with guests from the UK, who will be visiting us in early May, as we celebrate the Coronation of HM King Charles 3.
What You Might Have Missed on the Blog ⬇️
🏴 An Englishman in the Balkans 🇧🇦 is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free paid subscriber.
If you would like to experience a little Ćejf, and also explore this wonderful country, then why not get in contact with us. We can accommodate up to 5 people and can assure you of a wonderful time.
Our WhatsApp number (text only) is 00387 66 657916.
Don’t forget that you can read back editions of the newsletter, listen to previous podcasts (we have quite an archive now), or catch other content, all this is available on the web interface, just like a regular blog.
Oh, and please share the newsletter with friends, relatives and colleagues using the button below.
Tamara and I appreciate your faithful readership, your comments, and your generosity!
Until our next post.
THANKS SO MUCH ❤️