Novak Djokovic has had a difficult year off-court. But that hasn’t stopped the World No 1 from helping lower-ranked players train for free during the off-season for free.
According to French newspaper L’Equipe, Djokovic has made provision in his tennis centre in Belgrade for around 15 players to train for free through the off-season.
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He had made three ‘bubble’ courts, a weight room and physiotherapists available. Besides the facilities, Djokovic also offers meals to players and their staff, and hotel for those who do not live in Belgrade. On site, players are provided with boxes of balls and stringers are available, all free of charge.
Just posted a video @ Novak Tennis Center https://t.co/TeeICNDIYh
— Petar Popovic Spin (@spajn) November 30, 2020
“In winter, the courts are very expensive, especially for a 700th, 800th or 1000th player in the world,” Serbian coach Petar Popovic told the publication.
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Popovic currently coaches Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur, who is one of the players invited to Belgrade for the off-season training.
The first batch of players arrived in Serbia on Monday.
Among them are Filip Krajinovic (Ranked 31 in the world), Laslo Djere (57), Danilo Petrovic (141), Viktor Troicki (201), Marko Tepavac (449), Boris Butulija (1325), Hamad Medjedovic (1348) and Nikola Cacic (57 in doubles).
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“There will also be a few girls including Olga Danilovic (ranked 183), in total about fifteen players,” Popovic added.
“Novak did an incredible thing for our country, we needed that, especially the young players. It is an exceptional help. I don’t see other players who have done this for their country’s tennis. He doesn’t brag about it. He has shown that he is really tall and that he thinks of others.”
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Djokovic had reportedly helped fellow Serb Krajinovic financially when he was injured and could not afford a coach or a doctor.