Story By: Sofija Dizdarevik, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
Video Credit: Golders/@djokernole
This is the Novak Djokovic super fan who moved to Serbia from Japan for four years to meet his idol but he has now finally completed his goal in his home country.
Iori Yoshida was reportedly inspired by watching Djokovic play in 2011 and asked his father for permission to move from Japan to Serbia, which he says his father let him do “if I showed passion”.
The Japanese superfan then moved to the Serbian city of Pancevo in 2011, spending four years in his hero’s homeland, reportedly learning the language and immersing himself in Serbian culture.
He told local media: “I saw Novak’s game in 2011 when he was a beast, Serbian machine. I told my father I wanted to move to Novak’s country Serbia and he allowed me but only if I showed passion.
“My wish is to be like Djokovic”.”
Yoshida did not get the chance to meet his hero in Serbia but has now finally come face to face with the tennis ace – back home in Japan.
Djokovic posted photos of the pair together online with the caption: “I have met many people traveling but I don’t know if I’ve met anyone more passionate and enthusiastic than this guy on the tennis court. He got my attention when I saw a video he made while he was in Serbia where he was speaking in Serbian and asking to play with me.
“I saw that video a few days ago and invited him to come and watch me play and after my match we could play tennis together. It was truly a remarkable experience, one that really fills my heart with joy and happiness. Seeing the passion that he shared while we were together was fascinating. He speaks Serbian so well and is a very funny guy.
“Made me laugh so hard. I had a blast and these are exactly the situations that remind me how grateful I need to be every day to have the position to positively impact many lives. A true blessing (sic).”
A video of the pair speaking together, with the Japanese fan saying “I love Djokovic, I want to be like Djokovic” has received over 704,000 views, with netizen ‘Vodolija333’ writing: “You made my day.”
And ‘trener_snage_i_kondicije’ wrote: “King, well done Novak.”
‘Valentinica’ wrote: “You are so kind, you are a king”.
Djokovic won the Japan Open, beating John Milman in his fourth ATP title of the year and 76th of his career.
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.