ATP tennis in Turin: Djokovic, Tsitsipasas and even Kyrgios, there is a big dog behind the great tennis players

When Juan Martin Del Potro won Indian Wells in 2018, he drew a heart on camera. No, not for his fiancée, but for her dog, Cesar, who died recently. «You have accompanied me in these almost 10 years – the dedication shared by thousands of fans on social media – you have waited for me with joy after every trip, you have protected me, you have made an entire family happy and today you are going to rest in peace, leaving the your mark in my heart.” A big heart, that of the unfortunate Argentine champion whose career was marred by painful injuries and not entirely successful surgeries, whose words often show that behind a great tennis player there is a great dog.

There is no shortage of excellent examples in these days of the Atp Finals. To support her husband Novak in Turin, Jelena Djokovic brought along the poodle Pierre, a member of the family in all respects. She is faithful to every training session of the champion at the Sporting Press Club together with Nole’s son, Stefan, and with her parties she manages to relax him and make him smile again even on bad days.

Djokovic’s wife walking the dog

Rather than helping to relax their master, however, Stefanos Tsitispas’ dogs reflect his incendiary mood: above all the Czechoslovakian shepherd (it is no coincidence that he is a cross between a wolf and a German shepherd) shows off an attacking temper under the net and tries to biting those who don’t like him: at Sporting it happened to an unfortunate employee of the ATP, while Stefanos trained under the watchful eye of his father Apostolos and mother Julia Salnikova swam in the pool despite the autumn weather. Russian blood doesn’t lie. Another temper like Nick Kyrgios has always praised the importance of dogs in his personal balance: «Quincy and King make me smile and remind me how important the simple things are in life».

The two dogs of Tsitsipas 

Then there are the real activists like Denis Shapovalov: the Canadian champion loves dogs so much that he founded the «ShapoShelter», a charitable initiative that allows abandoned dogs and cats to find a family. “I have a lot of pets, so I joined forces and started an online platform called ShapoShelter that will help different shelters around the world promote their pets, both cats and dogs, and try to help them find new homes.”
Another fervent supporter of the animal rights cause is Dominic Thiem, very attached to his two Labradors. To support the cause of dogs awaiting adoption, this year’s Rio Open even hired a team of ball boy puppies: six CãoDulas looking for a home were busy on the sidelines. The quality of the recovered balls is not guaranteed, but the enthusiasm is worthy of a Grand Slam.


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ATP tennis in Turin: Djokovic, Tsitsipasas and even Kyrgios, there is a big dog behind the great tennis players