Tennis star Sergiy Stakhovsky returns to Ukraine to fight

Banfield
PARIS – MAY 29: Novak Djokovic (top) of Serbia shakes hands with Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine following his victory during their Men’s Singles Second Round match on day six of the French Open at Roland Garros on May 29, 2009 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

(NewsNation) — Ukrainian tennis star Sergiy Stakhovsky took some time away from the game after retiring in January following the Australian Open.

Now, he’s preparing to defend his country from Russian forces.

The 36 year old, who won four ATP titles and had a shock win over Roger Federer in the second round of Wimbledon in 2013, is ranked 31st in the world.

Stakhovsky was on vacation with his family in Dubai when he decided to join the fight against Russia.

“I can’t really have confidence in my actions regarding guns. But, you know, there’s a lot of people in Ukraine who have zero experience in terms of military,” Stakhovsky said in an exclusive interview on NewsNation’s “Banfield.”

Stakhovsky said he was given basic training but that he has a lot to learn.

Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic reached out to Stakhovsky personally via WhatsApp offering financial support.

“Stako, how are you man? Are you on the field? Think of you, hoping all calms down soon. Please let me know what would be the best address to send help … financial help, any other help as well,” Djokovic wrote in the WhatsApp message.

Stakhovsky responded that he was thankful for the support and that Ukraine is grateful.

“This was is something Ukraine doesn’t want to fight. We’re defending our country. We’re not invading any other countries. Our ultimate goal is just to keep our country away from Russia,” Stakhovsky said during his Monday appearance on “Banfield.”

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