When Daniil Medvedev’s coach, Gilles Cervara, steps on court to work with his charge at the upcoming BNP Paribas Open, he will not be wearing his normal practice kit. Instead, the Frenchman will be wearing a special logo to raise awareness for one of his colleagues.
Cervara’s shirt will have a logo on his chest that reads “Kiki, coz I care”. It is a sign of support for Kristijan Schneider — also known as “Kiki” — the former coach of Borna Coric, who has been battling cancer.
“I started to think about relationships, because on Tour I can feel the good energy between coaches, especially on the men’s tour. We meet every day, every tournament and it’s very friendly,” Cervara told ATPTour.com. “I was thinking, if one of the coaches gets in trouble, are these friendly relations very deep or just fake or superficial? That’s why I started to try to fight for Kiki, to give him some help and to try to ask coaches if they want to help him.
“It was important for me to see if coaches are able to give this support to someone who is in trouble like Kristijan. It started like this.”
Support Fundraiser For Schneider
Schneider, who most recently recently worked with WTA player Olga Danilovic in Melbourne this year, was originally diagnosed with colon cancer two years ago when he was training Coric. On that occasion, he did not need chemotherapy, as the affected region was removed.
But after returning from Australia this year, he was diagnosed with abdominal cancer and learned he needed chemo, which is still ongoing. A fundraiser was launched to help cover the expenses of Schneider’s treatment.
People who have involved themselves include Italian Thomas Fabbiano, who at the Miami Open presented by Itau raised awareness by donating $1 for every minute he played during the tournament.
Cervara wants to make sure his colleague, whom he first met at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in 2017, feels the support of the tennis world, and has been in touch with the Croatian.
“I want to continue to help him,” Cervara said. “[I want] to find solutions, to give him hope, to give him energy, to give him support, and also to give him money to find the amount for his treatment to save his life.”
In July another coach, former doubles World No. 102 Adam Peterson, was rushed to the hospital after experiencing complete liver and kidney failure.
After extensive testing, Peterson was diagnosed with Stage 4 Burkitt Lymphoma, a fast-growing cancer that requires aggressive treatment. Peterson needs a minimum of eight rounds of extensive chemotherapy and has recently completed the second stage. To learn how to support his battle, click here.