Ukraine's Stakhovsky: Djokovic reached out, Federer and Nadal preferred silence

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Ukraine's Stakhovsky: Djokovic reached out, Federer and Nadal preferred silence

Ukrainian tennis player Sergiy Stakhovsky reveals 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic sent him a message of support, while Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal "prefer silence." Stakhovsky returned to Ukraine so he could join the military reserve and defend his country.

Djokovic, who was replaced as No. 1 this Monday by Daniil Medvedev, even chatted a little with Stakhovsky. Even though Federer and Nadal "prefer silence," Stakhovsky doesn't blame them as he says "it is not their war."

"Djokovic sent me a message of support, we even chatted a bit. I tried to contact Federer and Nadal, I’m sorry they preferred silence. I understand them, it’s not their war. We have the support of great personalities, I hope it lasts," Stakhovsky told La Stampa, per Mario Boccardi.

Stakhovsky vows to protect and defend his country Stakhovsky doesn't have any military experience but he knows how to handle a gun.

"If you had done what you are doing now when Crimea was annexed, we would not be in this mess. Anyway I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to protect my country: if that means I have to use a weapon to defend myself by shooting someone, I will," Stakhovsky said.

After ensuring that his family safely got to Hungary, Stakhovsky returned to Ukraine to defend his country. "Of course, I would fight, it's the only reason I'm trying to get back," Stakhovsky told Sky News.

"I signed up for the reserves last week. I don't have military experience but I do have experience with a gun privately. "My dad and brother are surgeons, they are stressed out, but I speak to them frequently - they sleep in the basement."

Meanwhile, Stakhovsky appeared in only one event this year. Stakhovsky tried to make the main draw at the Australian Open but was beaten in the qualifying first round.