March 31, 2023

He was not born there nor grew up there, but Novak Djokovic’s connection with Italy runs deep.

The Serbian has often spoken of his love for the southern European country — from its food to its history, to its culture. Djokovic is also fluent in Italian and interacts with several members of his team in the language.

Perhaps those positive feelings have boosted the 90-time tour-level titlist as he pursues on-court success. Djokovic is a six-time champion at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, lifting his most recent ATP Masters 1000 title there in May. This week, the 35-year-old chases further Italian success at the 2022 Nitto ATP Finals, being held at the Pala Alpitour in Turin.

Yet while he may be very familiar with Italy, there are still some well-known aspects of the country Djokovic is yet to experience. When asked the Serbian whether he would rather spend a free afternoon climbing the active volcano Mount Vesuvius or take a trip to visit the historic Colosseum in Rome, his answer was unequivocal.

“Climb Mount Vesuvius, because I already visited the Colosseum,” said Djokovic. The 35-year-old would also opt for a new experience if given the choice between attending a Serie A football match or the historic Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix at Monza.

“Probably watch the Grand Prix, because I have watched many Serie A [matches],” said the Serbian. “I have never done a Grand Prix, so that should be a fun experience.”

When it comes to films set (or, at least, partially based) in Italy, Djokovic would opt for The Godfather over The Italian Job. Yet it is the latter that is predominantly set in the northern city of Turin, with the film’s car chase scene a particularly well-known piece of cinema. Can Djokovic forge a successful pursuit of his own this week as he bids to equal Roger Federer’s record six Nitto ATP Finals crowns?

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