Ringmer Wimbledon ace repairs Serbia’s PR image

Ringmer resident Chris Bowers at Wimbledon with his new book
Ringmer resident Chris Bowers at Wimbledon with his new book

Here’s one Brit who can be forgiven for not cheering for Andy Murray at this year’s Wimbledon.

Tennis commentator, district councillor and Ringmer resident Chris Bowers has just brought out a book on the 2011 Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic – and a second title for the Serb this fortnight will do nothing to harm sales.

The book, The Sporting Statesman – Novak Djokovic and the rise of Serbia, is part biography of Djokovic and part history of Serbia, with the two themes woven together to show how Djokovic has been using his status as a top sportsman to repair his country’s PR image.

“Serbia’s image suffered badly in the wars of the 1990s that saw the break-up of Yugoslavia,” says Chris, “but a generation of tennis players led by Djokovic are doing their best to show their country in a positive light.

“Novak told me from the start that he didn’t want to work on a biography, but he did answer my questions on his role as a flag-carrier for Serbia, so I hope readers will enjoy this fusion of sport and world affairs.

“But more importantly, it’s a human interest story. I made three trips to Belgrade last year to research the book, and did the last interview with Jelena Gencic, the remarkable woman who taught him how to play tennis, before she died suddenly – her relationship with Djokovic merits a chapter of its own.”

The Sporting Statesman is published by John Blake Publishing and is available from bookshops and internet sites.