Novak Djokovic was one of four players to test positive for COVID-19 during the Adria Tour, leading to the cancellation of the exhibition tournament - whose primary aim, ironically, was proving aid to coronavirus relief efforts. However, that has not stopped the World No. 1 from continuing to do his bit in the fight against the pandemic.
Novak Djokovic, through his Novak Djokovic Foundation, has donated 5 million Serbian dinars (approximately €42,500) to a hospital in the Serbian town of Novi Pazar, where there has been a spate of COVID-19 cases.
Djokovic has faced a lot of flak recently from fellow players, tennis experts and fans for organizing the ill-fated Adria Tour with lax COVID-19 protocols at a time when the pandemic has far from abated. But the Serb is acutely aware of the situation in Novi Pazar, one of Serbia's worst-affected cities.
In the wake of the grim images showing overcrowded hospitals struggling to contain the steady inflow of COVID-19 patients, Novak Djokovic contacted the management of a hospital in the city. He immediately offered to buy the supplies necessary for the treatment of infected patients.
Through his Novak Djokovic Foundation, the 33-year-old has extended financial assistance of 5 million Serbian dinars, in addition to any extra amount that is needed. The money will be used for the purchase of protective equipment, drugs and medical devices.
"Novak Djokovic has already paid five million for the purchase of protective equipment, drugs and medical devices, and the agreement is to pay as much as necessary next week," the director of the Health Center in Novi Pazar, Ervin Corovic said.
The hospital director in the stricken Serbian city profusely thanked Novak Djokovic for his timely help.
"It is a matter of great help, easily the greatest that Novi Pazar has received. On behalf of all citizens of Novi Pazar and all health workers, I thank them (Novak Djokovic Foundation) for the help that will be used for this fight and for the purchase of protective equipment, medical devices and medicines," Corovic said.
Novak Djokovic had earlier donated €1 million in the fight against COVID-19
In a season of giving, Novak Djokovic has contributed to a lot of philanthropic and humanitarian causes lately.
The Serb, through his Novak Djokovic Foundation, donated €1 million in May for the purchase of ventilators and other medical equipment necessary to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. He was also later reported to have donated $5.5 million to the healthcare department and other charities as the situation around the world worsened.
Novak Djokovic had said back in May that the fight against COVID-19 is far from easy, and that the numbers are not 'pleasant'.
“The fight is not easy, numbers are not pleasant, but I am convinced that we will manage to make it out of this stronger than before.
The world's top-ranked player urged for a united effort from everyone so that the world recovers quickly from the wreckage and returns to normalcy.
"It is important to remain united in this fight, to help each other, so we can defeat this virus faster and easier. We would like to use this opportunity to invite everyone else to join us and help numerous families and people who need help to survive and get healthy again.”