Coach Petar Popovic says Novak Djokovic is always trying to find ways to help others. Popovic, who coached former Croatian tennis star Ivo Karlovic, describes Djokovic as "a very giving person." "I know them very well because we are a small country and we have traveled together and I have known him since he was very young.
The first thing that I'll say about Novak is that for me, he is the best tennis player regarding helping others. He's amazing. He was fighting for players who are ranked 100-150, which he didn't need to do. He also has a national center here and he's giving free practice to the best of Serbians and Croatians.
He's really a giving person and I'm not saying it because he's Serbian, I'm stating facts," Popovic said on the Craig Shapiro podcast.
Popovic on Djokovic's vaccine stance
Djokovic has received lots of criticism this year over his vaccine stance.
Popovic respects Djokovic's philanthropic work but doesn't agree with him in his vaccine views. "The thing about vaccination is that I'm not sharing his point of view. I was the first one to get vaccinated. So I have 180° different point of view about that," Popovic said.
This year, Djokovic missed some of the biggest tournaments in the world because of his vaccination status. At the start of the season, Djokovic was denied participation at the Australian Open. In March, Djokovic missed the Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami.
Then after winning Wimbledon, Djokovic missed the entire North American hard court swings - the US Open and Masters events in Montreal and US Open. However, Djokovic has suggested several times that his principles come at first place.
Djokovic likely won't have any problems entering any tournaments in the rest of the year. Djokovic will be allowed to compete at the Paris Masters, the remaining Masters events in the 2022 calendar.