Tennis world No 1 Novak Djokovic said on Tuesday he and his wife have tested positive for coronavirus, joining a slew of other infected players who took part in an exhibition tennis tournament in the Balkans.
The news was confirmed in a statement attributed to the player, where he apologised for the event and said he had no symptoms. The Adria Tour was organised by the Serbian and his brother and was criticised for not following safety protocols.
Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki are the other well-known players who tested for Covid-19 after the tournament last week.
One of Djokovic’s coaches and another member of Dimitrov’s entourage have also reportedly tested positive for the virus, according to Croatia’s N1 television channel. Troicki, meanwhile, played Djokovic last week in Belgrade.
Coric had beaten Bulgaria’s Dimitrov in the second leg of the Adria Tour in Zadar on Croatia’s Adriatic coast on Saturday. Dimitrov withdrew from the Balkans tournament following that match, complaining of feeling unwell.
Sunday’s final between Djokovic, who is president of the ATP Player Council, and Russia’s Andrey Rublev was immediately cancelled as a precaution.
The Adria Tour had been organised to fill the gap in the virus-hit tennis calendar which has been on ice since mid-March and was played out to a daily crowd of 4,000 fans at Djokovic’s tennis centre on the banks of the Danube in Belgrade last week.
Dimitrov, Djokovic and Thiem, as well as the other players, were then seen partying at a packed Belgrade night spot. Thiem has since travelled to the south of France to play in another exhibition tournament in Nice.
The Adria Tour had already suffered an embarrassing setback when the planned Montenegro leg of the four-nation tournament was cancelled when it became apparent Serbia’s health requirements did not match up to those of Montenegro.
Commenting on social distancing measures during the Belgrade leg, Djokovic argued that both Serbia and the region had been relatively successful in containing the virus. “Of course you can criticise, you can also say this is dangerous or not, but it’s not up to me to make the calls what is health-wise right or wrong,” he stated.
Last week, the ATP and WTA said they were restarting their tours in August.
However, the US Open in New York will be played behind closed doors and under strict health protocols which Djokovic has described as “extreme” and “impossible”.
With AFP Inputs
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