Davis Cup: This 'Indian' still roots for Serbia

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Bangalore: One couldn't help but notice a Serbian tennis fan, jumping, clapping and shouting during the India-Serbia Davis Cup World Group tie at the KSLTA stadium. The woman seated in the VIP enclosure made a ruckus whenever the Serbs won a point.

Danijela Radonic Bhandari with the Serbian flag outside the KSLTA stadium yesterday. Pic/Naoshirvan N Vakil
Danijela Radonic Bhandari with the Serbian flag outside the KSLTA stadium yesterday. Pic/Naoshirvan N Vakil  

The woman in question is Danijela Radonic Bhandari, and has been living in India for the past five years. In a typical Indian accent, she said: "I love all the Serbian tennis players. I am thrilled Serbia won this fantastic tie. Serbia, Serbia," she screamed as she proudly waved the Serbian flag.

She is passionate about all sports, be it tennis, football or basketball. "We are a small poor European country, but we are very hard working and very competitive." She said this is the key as to why Serbian tennis has flourished in recent years.

"I love Novak Djokovic. He is a fantastic role model for the youth. His commitment to the game and his dedication to the sport has helped him become World No 1."
She is extremely impressed by Filip Krajinovic. "In Serbia, everyone says he is the next Djokovic. He is a fantastic talent and I am sure he will climb up the ATP rankings."

The Indian connection...
Danijela is married to Ranvir Bhandari, a vice-president at ITC hotels. "I have travelled all over India. I currently live in Chennai."

Danijela, a 39-year-old clinical hypnotherapist, loves Indian cricket. "I am a huge fan of Sachin Tendulkar. I had dinner with him in Chennai a fortnight ago. He is so humble and nice. He told me so many wonderful stories of his fantastic career."

She supports the Indian Premier League franchise Chennai Super Kings. "I have met MS Dhoni, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, they are all so sweet," smiled the friendly Serb.

"I want India to retain the World Cup in 2015 in Australia and New Zealand. I was jumping with joy when India won the World Cup trophy in Mumbai in 2011. I am sure India will triumph in Australia next year," claimed the jovial Serb.

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