Novak Djokovic offers financial aid to Ukraine tennis star


Novak Djokovic has offered financial help to former professional tennis player Sergiy Stakhovsky after learning that the Ukrainian has left his family to go and fight Russia.

Sergiy Stakhovsky announced his retirement earlier this year after 19 years as a pro, and has since returned to Ukraine to help fight following the Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

Stakhovsky, who famously beat defending champion Roger Federer at the Wimbledon back in 2013, has now taken to social media to share the good natured offer of the world No. 2.

Sharing a screenshot of his WhatsApp exchange with the 20-time Grand Slam winner, Stakhovsky added the caption: “Thank you for your support. Ukraine is grateful.”

Serbian player Novak Djokovic (R) shakes hands with Ukrainian player Sergiy Stakhovsky during a French Open tennis second round match on May 29, 2009 at Roland Garros Stadium in Paris. The event, the second Grand Slam tournament of 2009, runs from May 25 to June 7, 2009.
Novak Djokovic sent heartfelt private messages to former tennis rival Sergiy Stakhovsky

With the messages from the account named Djokovic saying: “Stako, how are you man? Are you on the field? Think of you, hoping all calms down soon.

“Please let me know what would be the best address to send help, financial help, any other help as well…”

To which Stakhovsky replied: “Nole thanks a lot, I am on the ground. Kyiv is pretty silent…”

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Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine plays the ball during his first round match against Tommy Haas of Germany at the 102. BMW Open by FWU at Iphitos tennis club on May 1, 2017 in Munich, Germany.
Sergiy Stakhovsky has returned to his native Ukraine to help fight Russia

Stakhovsky had previously said of saying goodbye to his family: “We flew to Budapest and I kissed the kids goodbye. My wife knew I’d made a decision that she’s not gonna like and she was upset.

“The little one, who is a daddy’s boy, asked where I was going and I told him I’m just going to the garage and then I left.

“I crossed the border and I was the only one going the other way. There was a big queue of families, women and kids trying to escape.

Novak Djokovic offered financial help to former pro Sergiy Stakhovsky
Novak Djokovic offered financial help to former pro Sergiy Stakhovsky

Ukrainian tanks move on a road before an attack in Lugansk region on February 26, 2022. - Russia on February 26 ordered its troops to advance in Ukraine "from all directions" as the Ukrainian capital Kyiv imposed a blanket curfew and officials reported 198 civilian deaths.
Ukrainian tanks have been tasked with defending their capital Kyiv from Russian forces

“It was a tough journey but it was inspiring. While we were travelling we drove through a lot of cities and we saw the level of enthusiasm and motivation from people.

“They were blocking roads leading to villages, making barricades, getting out their hunting guns, making checkpoints.

“The whole nation is so extremely motivated to fight this off. It’s insane what Russia is doing.”