WTA Legend Iva Majoli has teamed up with fellow Croatian athlete Blanka Vlasic to form Athletes for Zagreb, raising funds in the hopes of helping their capital city of Zagreb, hit hard by an earthquake in the middle of the COVID-19 lockdown.
"As the entire world faces uncertainties and struggles to find a way to stop the pandemic that has impacted our lives in all areas, I am reaching out to you to ask for support to my city Zagreb," Majoli and Vlasic wrote on their Instagrams.
"On Sunday morning, Zagreb was struck by a devastating series of earthquakes that left numerous people injured, many people lost their homes, the city centre which represents a historical and cultural heritage has suffered serious damage, and parts of our hospitals and medical facilities that are of crucial necessity now that we are dealing with a pandemic, have been left in ruins."
Majoli became the first from her country to win a Grand Slam singles title in 1997, when she shocked then-World No.1 Martina Hingis in the final of Roland Garros. Ranked as high as World No.4, the Croat has continued to work within the sport, most notably at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, where she works in player relations and participated in a Legends exhibition earlier this year.
Countrywoman Donna Vekic discussed the earthquake on the debut episode of Tennis United with Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
"I live two hours away, so I wasn't personally affected, but it's still a crazy time, especially dealing with corona and the earthquake as well."
Athletes for Zagreb has already raised over €32,000, with a goal of €200,000 to remedy the effects of the earthquake.
"Croatia is a country known for its open-heart hospitality, culture, heritage, sports achievements and athletes," Vlasic wrote on the cause's Go Get Funding page. "Croatians public services are now at a stretch as the country is fighting two major public concerns - stopping the growing number of patients affected by COVID-19 as well as the earthquake relief efforts.
"The effects of the earthquake have been devastating - parts of Zagreb's medical institutions have been left in ruins, many people lost their homes and numerous cultural and historical monuments have been devastated."