At 33 years of age, Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has won his fifth Wimbledon title, and 16th Grand Slam win, beating Roger Federer in a grueling match, just 3 minutes shy of five hours long. It’s a safe bet that this man, who dominated the world tennis elite for so long, was able to find the energy he needed for this latest feather in his cap thanks to his regular Bible reading.
“Before I am an athlete, I am an Orthodox Christian”
The number 1 tennis player in the world is an Orthodox Christian, and he does not hesitate to say it publicly. It is not uncommon to observe Novak Djokovic invoking Christ during a meeting or wearing a cross around his neck to witness to his faith. For him, his religious beliefs come before his 68 titles, including 12 Grand Slam tournaments earned since the beginning of his career.
“This is the most important title of my life, because before being an athlete, I am an Orthodox Christian,” he said in April 2011, when he received the order of St. Sava in the first degree from the hands of Irenaeus, the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The order of St. Sava is the highest distinction in the Serbian Orthodox Church, and it was given to him especially for having contributed financially to the renovation of religious buildings in his native land, Serbia.
He finances a free restaurant for the poorest
A multi-millionaire thanks to his tournament winnings and numerous advertising contracts, Novak Djokovic willingly puts his fortune at the service of the underprivileged and helps causes that are dear to him. Judge for yourself. Last December, the Novak Djokovic Foundation, of which he is one of the main benefactors, contributed 94,000 euros for the renovation of a school in Pozega (Serbia).
In October of 2017, the tennis player announced the opening of a restaurant in Serbia offering free food to the homeless and the poor. “Money is not a problem for me. I have earned enough to feed all of Serbia. I think they deserve it after the support I received from them,” he said in a statement released at the time.
Read more at Aleteia.