BOISE -- Friday was day one of the Davis Cup tennis matches in Boise, where the United States is taking on Serbia in the quarterfinals. Both teams boast number one players in the world, with Serbia's Novak Djokovic and USA's Bryan brothers.
While most in the stands are supporters of the American men, there is also some red, blue and white in the stands for Serbia. On Friday morning, many Serbian fans met at the BSU Student Union Building to make signs, paint their faces and get organized to walk over to the matches at Taco Bell Arena.
This week, several of them have met Team Serbia, including Djokovic. The fans say they stood outside the arena every day yelling in Serbian until they got the chance to talk to the team. Then Djokovic repaid their enthusiasm by helping make sure his fans could get in to see the matches.
[Djokovic] actually offered a few extra tickets for people who could not afford it, Lazar Popovic, a Team Serbia fan, said. He said, 'I'm willing to help. Because we want more support from Serbian people', he said, 'I'll give some extra tickets. It would be my pleasure to give some extra tickets.' So we were really happy.
On Friday, the Serbian fans said they planned to yell loudly, especially knowing their team would have less support in the stands.
I brought my voice. I'm probably going to lose it by the end of the day, but I would not regret it because it's maybe once in a lifetime and we want to make sure that we use this opportunity to the maximum so we can give our everything to support our team, Popovic said.
We were so excited, Ljiljana Leka, Team Serbia fan, said. Boise has been our home for over 10, 15 years now, but to actually have our home team over here and actually play against the USA, I think it's going to be interesting. It's fun. We're basically all here to root for our boys because definitely they have less support than the American team, so we're here.
As the Serbian fans want to support their team and hope the players are excited to see friendly faces in the stands, they say having people from their home country in the United States also makes them feel good.
For me personally, I miss home less because I see more of our people, and it's such a great feeling, Popovic said.