Serbia is a country of 6.8 million people. From a population stand point it’s the size of US states Massachusetts or Tennessee for comparison. Despite the small size it’s amazing the amount of elite athletic talent it produces.
Serbia currently has the best tennis and basketball players in the world. Novak Djokovic in our opinion has already cemented his place as the best tennis player of all time with years to still add to the legacy. Nikola Jokic seems to be destined to rank in the top 10 in the NBA with his current trajectory.
If you want a current comparison Serbia with a population under 7 million, currently has 4 tennis players ranked in the top 57 of the ATP rankings. The United States with a population of 333 million has 9 in the top 57. That represents a resurgences for the US as well and more than there were just a couple years ago.
In the NBA Serbia currently has 5 active players, Nikola Jokic,Bogdan Bogdanavic, Boban Marjanovic, Aleksej Pokusevski, and Nikola Jovic. If you include players with a Serbia citizenship or parentage that list would also include Luka Doncic, Goran Dragic, Nikola Vucevic, Cedi Osman, and Deni Avdija.
When you look at the wider region Slovenia a country of 2 million finished 4th in the last Olympics in basketball. If Yugoslavia were still a country they would pose a real threat to the US in international play even as a territory of only 20 million people. Croatia which is less than 4 million also has 2 top 25 tennis players in Marin Cilic and Borna Coric.
It’s an incredible amount of talent that is produced in this relatively small region of the world. Elite talent that can compete with countries with hundreds of millions of people.