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The world lay at his feet: - So began the hell

A 40-year-old man with really good ambitions stands with racket in hand, ready to take hold of work with to train young players and find the next stortalent.

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The world lay at his feet: - So began the hell

A 40-year-old man with really good ambitions stands with racket in hand, ready to take hold of work with to train young players and find the next stortalent.

Again and again he must, however, true that they, and their parents pull when they hear the truth. When they hear that it is Nikola Gnjatovic, they face. The Nikola Gnjatovic!

Then, they disappear like dew before the sun, and he must be true to life as in the past narkomisbruger is hard on more than one shape.

At the other end of the tennis scale, and it is gudhjælpemig completely over in the other end, has Roger Federer has just been observed, that in the past 12 months had an income of more than 700 million dollars, making him the most common athlete in the world.

the two, Gnjatovic and Federer, a once long ago stood on each side of the net, and that the former won clearly, is a different but certainly not uninteresting history.

It was then, as teenagers, both were on the road to a professional career. Where Gnjatovic already had the first appearance at the yugoslav Davis Cup crew, and even had defeated people like Fernando Gonzalez and Marat Safin.

Subsequently, Novak Djokovic's father, Srdjan Djokovic, said that he has never seen so large a talent as Gnjatovic’.

- There was no one there predicted that I would reach verdenstoppen at the time, he tells in a frank and honest interview with balkanspress.com.


An interview in a story about how it can go when you are allured by the temptations that presents itself on the road of life. How a level with the white powder turns to two and ten and 100. How a budding career can disappear up through the tube of a 100 kronor note, while our peers continue the promising development and establish themselves among the finest on the globe.

It is grim reading.

I took heroin for the first time, when I was 21. Then began the hell. I worked up a debt and getting in serious crises. I started to steal in order to get to the narkoen. I tried to continue to play tennis, but it was not. At that time, began my family is also falling apart, and my life was a complete chaos. I have been in the hospital more than ten times, and throughout the 17 years went through the horrors that drugs bring with them, he says.

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It was, however, not much evidence of in the middle of the eighties, when the seven-year-old Nikola, who had grown up with a mother, father and sister in Belgrade, while communism is balanced on a razor's edge in eastern Europe.

He was reported in a tennis club, and it took supposedly only a very short time, before the coaches were aware of what they were faced with.

He was enrolled in a tournament that really seemed too big and heavy for him. But Nikola played and won it all. Toptræneren Goran Bubanj came with from the stands and responded to all participants. Nikola was invited over to the significantly bigger club Partizan, where the development just continued towards the sky.


in Front of the now more famous players such as Ivo Karlovic and Ivan Ljubicic won the Nikola the national championships for its vintage. This he continued in all the vintages, up to its 18. year.

He left the club at a time when they supposedly cheated on him for a professional contract. With arch-rivals Zvezda he continued undeterred, and he also took part in the Wimbledon juniorturnering two years in a row.

That it was for the two defeats in 1. the round would hang together with the fact that the money shown was not proper preparation.

He settled in Barcelona, but after the NATO bombardment in 1999, he chose to move home to be close to his family.

- I would be with my parents when it was the hardest. It went at the same time, not so good in Barcelona, as I had difficulty finding sponsors, he explains.

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After returning home he had earned a lot of points for the world ranking, he wrote the contract with Goran Ivanisevic’ company Head. He ran into an acquaintance in connection with a trip to Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was abuse, and Nikola could not resist the temptation.

It was the beginning of 17 years of addiction, a broken family, a completely failed career, and an economy in ruins.


In the interview, he goes, unfortunately, not further in detail with the course or how it suddenly dawned on him that he had to away from it.

But he came. After clinical treatment and therapy, he has now been clean for three years.

in Addition to the aforementioned ruin many, many people have also left him through the years. Them that has been hanging, has been a big help in a tough time.

And now waiting for a new life with faith and hope that he can make a future for Serbia's young talents. If otherwise, the parents will let him.

- I will work and train talented children. I know what I myself went through, and it was a huge and unfortunately for animals school for me. But now I can tell all the children about the dangers of drugs.

But the road to the work and the results he dreams about, is long. For the past range again and again legs for him.

- Former players and colleagues tell the kids parents that I am a former drug addict, and that children should not learn to play tennis by me. I have never traded with or given drugs on. I would rather cut the hand of, he says.

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