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BELGRADE, Serbia – Tennis world No. 1 Novak Djokovic said Friday, March 27, he was donating 1 million euros ($1.1 million) to help his native Serbia buy respirators and other gear to combat the coronavirus.
The player was speaking in a video conference from the southern Spanish city of Marbella, where he and his family are currently hunkering down under nationwide lockdown orders.
“Our donation is for the purchase of life-saving respirators and other sanitary equipment,” said the tennis star.
Normally based in Monaco, the family’s stay in Spain is “a pure coincidence,” according to his spokesperson.
The 32-year-old said he was working on keeping a “positive spirit” and enjoying the family time with the tennis season thrown into chaos by the pandemic.
“I don’t remember spending so much time with my family since I became a father,” added Djokovic, who declined to discuss tennis matters and told reporters he was passing time by reading a book on the “history of the Serbs.”
He also said he plans to start “posting physical exercises I do in our apartment on social networks.”
Djokovic thanked China for sending several shipments of medical equipment and doctors to Serbia, where they are now helping guide Belgrade’s COVID-19 strategy.
Seven people have died and more than 450 are known to be infected with the respiratory disease among Serbia’s 7 million population, according to authorities.
“I thank China from the bottom of my heart on behalf of myself and the entire nation,” he said.