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Novak 'inspired' by US$10 mil. charity tie-up

TOKYO -- Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic, aiming to finish the year as the world number-one, said Tuesday he was getting inspiration from a US$10 million charity tie up with a Japanese clothing firm.

Cheap-chic giant Uniqlo has put up the money for the fund, which is being fronted by Djokovic, fresh from his back-to-back wins at the China Open and the Shanghai Masters in the past two weeks.

“This kind of humanitarian work always helps me play positive,” said the 25-year-old world number two, who began a sponsorship deal with the firm last May.

The fund will be split in two US$5 million parts, with one being spent on ideas solicited online from around the world on the theme of giving “children a better tomorrow,” a Uniqlo statement said.

The other half will provide support to programs aimed at improving children's education that will see the firm's parent company Fast Retailing work with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

“I find it very inspiring because not so many companies around the world have such vision and idea. And you have to embrace it in the best possible way,” Djokovic said.

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Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, center, instructs Japanse children at a tennis school during an event held by Japanese fashion brand Uniqlo in Tokyo, Tuesday, Oct. 16. (AFP)

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