Tennis

Novak Djokovic donates Rome winnings to flood victims

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Novak Djokovic has decided to donate all of his prize fund from the Rome Masters to flood victims in the Balkans, according to the ATP

The Serbian star's homeland and other countries in the region including Bosnia, Herzegovina and Croatia have been ravaged by floods caused by heavy rainfall.

After winning the last Masters 1000 event before the second Grand Slam of 2014, he admitted: ''It's been a very emotional week for me."

It is estimated that three months' worth of rain fell over the space of a few days as rivers burst their banks.

Over a million people have been affected with 48 losing their lives.

The flooding has also caused landslides and many homes have been destroyed as a result of this natural disaster. Fears over landmines have also been raised after the floodwater disturbed the explosives which were laid during unrest in the 90s. 

Djokovic won around €3 million for beating world no.1 Rafael Nadal in three sets in the Italian capital, which adds to his impressive career winnings of over $60 million.

US financial magazine Forbes ranked him 28th in their 2013 list of the highest-paid sportsman, his earning power usurps the likes of Usain Bolt, Sachin Tendulkar and Wayne Rooney.

This is not the first time he has invested his large winnings into charity either. Only the other day, he appeared alongside Formula One driver Fernando Alonso in a football match to raise funds for a children's charity.

His third title in Rome marked a return from arm injury which affected him in the Monte Carlo Masters. He also defeated Milos Raonic, David Ferrer, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Radek Stepanek on his way to glory.

The world no.2's win will provide him with a valuable confidence boost ahead of the French Open which starts next week.

Roland Garros is a place in which the 26-year-old has never won. Nadal has dominated the clay Grand Slam in his career and has only ever lost once, meaning that it will be difficult for Djokovic to complete the Career Slam.

However, the rivals' form suggests that could change this year. The Spaniard - dubbed the 'King of Clay' - hasn't ruled as supremely as he may have liked. He only has one title on his favoured surface and that was largely thanks to Kei Nishikori's injury when he led the final.

Furthermore Djokovic won the last meetings between the pair if, as expected, they clash in the final, despite the fact that Nadal slightly edges their head-to-head record with 22 wins in 41 meetings.

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Topics:
Tennis
Novak Djokovic

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