COVID-19 Woes: Djokovic Feels For 95% Of Players Who Are Struggling, Says I’m Lucky
Novak Djokovic has pledged 1 million euros to the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic and helped the Serbian Tennis Federation to organize an exhibition event. He also floated the idea of a relief fund to help lower-ranked players.
But the world No. 1 men’s tennis player still feels he’s not doing enough in these difficult times.
“We have earned enough money to live comfortable lives. We are lucky and grateful as well to have the life that we have, but 95% of tennis players are struggling,” Djokovic said in an interview with former world No. 1 and three-time French Open winner Gustavo Kuerten.
“Especially the ones that are lower-ranked. They don’t have the opportunity to compete, and earn money. For a lot of those players, it’s a kind of a survival problem in terms of continuing to play professional tennis or not,” he added.
Tournaments have been suspended since March and there is no clarity on when the competitive tennis will restart.
The sport’s governing bodies recently raised over $6 million to help lower-level players, but that may not be enough.
“This is the reality now. So I did spend a lot of time in these last two months to help the Serbian Tennis Federation to set up a tour. I also spent a lot of time talking with the ATP to understand the best ways to help the lower-ranked players,” he added.
“I consider myself responsible, not just because I am the President of the Council of ATP but also as a top player of the world and someone that had a lot of blessing in tennis. I need to be on the call as much as I can be available to contribute in any possible way,” said the 17-time Grand Slam winner.
“I did talk with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. There was a lot of communication. I am really glad how the men’s tennis world responded in these difficult times.”