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Tennis

Novak Djokovic offers help to Ukrainian tennis star who is fighting against Russian invasion

Reaching out to Ukrainian tennis star Sergiy Stakhovsky who is protecting his country against Russian invasion, Novak Djokovic has sent concerned messages and offered help.

Novak Djokovic has reached out to retired Ukrainian tennis star Sergiy Stakhovsky who is fighting against Russia and offered help
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Novak Djokovic has reached out to retired Ukrainian tennis star Sergiy Stakhovsky (left, in picture) who is fighting against Russia and offered help

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 7 March 2022 7:16 AM GMT

Out of concern for retired Ukrainian tennis player Sergiy Stakhovsky, who has joined the fight to protect his country from the Russian invasion, 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic sent concerned Whatsapp text messages offering support and financial help to him.

Stakhovsky, who shot to instant fame after defeating Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2013, signed up for Ukraine's military reserves last week despite having no prior experience.

Taking to his Instagram, the former World No. 31 posted a screenshot on Instagram of a WhatsApp conversation with Djokovic wherein the World No. 2 Serb had messaged Stako: "Thinking of you... hope all calms down soon," read one of the messages from Djokovic to Stakhovsky.

"Please let me know what would be the best address to send help. Financial help, any other help as well..." the message carried on.

Touched by this gesture from one of the Big Three, Stakhovsky showed his gratitude for Djokovic through this post. Further, Stakhovsky had also referred to the silence of the other two of the Big Three - Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, on this matter quite openly.

"I also tried to contact Federer and Nadal but without success," he said. "I am sorry that you prefer to remain silent, although I understand them. It's not their war."

Meanwhile, Djokovic who has been in the news constantly for all the wrong reasons related to his unvaccinated status since the Australian Open saga has stepped up and showed his support for Ukraine against Russia's invasion.

The 36-year-old Stakhovsky retired after the Australian Open in January and has returned to Kyiv to take part in the struggle to keep away the Russians.

"I know how to use the gun. If I'll have to, I'll have to. I pretty much hope that I won't have to use the gun," Stakhovsky told the BBC.

In the past week, Ukraine has been plunged into horror with Russia declaring war and Stakhovsky who recently left his wife, Anfisa and children at their home in Hungary revealed the difficulty of the act and said, "I'm still not sure how I've done it."

"I know that it's extremely hard on my wife. My kids don't know that I'm here. They don't understand war. They're too little to understand what's going on."

Given the recent development, a number of Ukrainian sports stars have joined the effort to defend their country, including two-time Olympic boxing gold medallist Vasiliy Lomachenko and world heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, as well.

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