World No 1 Novak Djokovic said on Tuesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, with the Serbian star becoming the fourth player to contract the virus after taking part in Adria Tour. The event was an exhibition tennis tournament organised by Djokovic and his brother in the Balkans. The tournament has been criticised for not following safety protocols but he had defended the presence of crowds.
Djokovic, who is “not showing any symptoms” according to a statement from his spokesperson, joins Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki in testing positive for Covid-19.
Djokovic said his wife Jelena also tested positive while the results of their children were negative.
The 33-year-old Serb has also apologised in the statement.
The moment we arrived in Belgrade we went to be tested. My result is positive, just as Jelena’s, while the results of our children are negative.
Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. Our tournament meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region.
The Tour has been designed to help both established and up and coming tennis players from South-Eastern Europe to gain access to some competitive tennis while the various tours are on hold due to the Covid-19 situation.
It was all born with a philanthropic idea, to direct all raised funds towards people in need and it warmed my heart to see how everybody strongly responded to this.
We organised the tournament at the moment when the virus has weakened, believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met. Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope and live with. I am hoping things will ease with time so we can all resume lives the way they were.
I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection. I hope that it will not complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine.
I will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days, and repeat the test in five days.
Later on Tuesday night, Djokovic issued another statement on his personal social media handles:
Hi everyone – We’re back in Belgrade and I’ve tested positive for COVID-19 as well as Jelena. The kids have tested negative. We will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days and repeat the test in 5 days.
I am so deeply sorry our tournament has caused harm. Everything the organizers and I did the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions.
We believed the tournament met all health protocols and the health of our region seemed in good condition to finally unite people for philanthropic reasons. We were wrong and it was too soon. I can’t express enough how sorry I am for this and every case of infection.
The rest of the tournament has been canceled and we will remain focused on all those who have been affected. I pray for everyone’s full recovery.
(With AFP inputs)