Tennis star Novak Djokovic made a stance regarding the controversy over his comments about Kosovo earlier this week at the French Open 2023. Djokovic made an explosive controversial comment about Kosovo on a TV camera after his first match at the clay-court tournament. The 22-time Grand Slam champion had written “Kosovo is the heart of Serbia. Stop the violence.” 

Not only this but after his third-round victory over Marton Fucsovics on Wednesday at the Roland Garros, he said, "I would say it again, but I don't need to because you have my quotes." He further added, “I’m aware that a lot of people would disagree, but it is what it is. It's something that I stand for. So that's all." 

The International Tennis Federation (ITF), the governing body of tennis, said that the Kosovo Tennis Federation had requested them to sanction Djokovic over his actions. However, the Federation stated that such statements don’t contravene regulations. "Rules for player conduct at a Grand Slam event are governed by the Grand Slam rulebook, administered by the relevant organiser and regulator. There is no provision in this that prohibits political statements," an ITF official was quoted by AFP. 

Notably, Djokovic was criticised by the French sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera for his comments about the recent clashes in Kosovo and asked the Serbian to not get involved. She said that his message wasn’t appropriate. She further added, "It was a message that is very activist, that is very political." However, the Ukrainian player Elina Svitolina has come to Djokovic’s support and said that he should be free to ‘say his opinion’.