The world number one Novak Djokovic announced that he has tested positive for coronavirus, expanding the list of infected players after the Adria Tour exhibition tournament, his tennis party in the Balkans that has become a threat to the calendar of this sport in the coming months.
“Novak Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19,” his team said in a statement. The text adds that the Serbian does not suffer from “any symptoms.”
Three players who took part in the Adria Tour, which started in mid-June in Belgrade, had already tested positive: Grigor Dimitrov (19th in the world), Croatian Borna Coric (33rd) and Serbian Viktor Troicki (184th).
«Since we arrived in Belgrade (from Zadar, Croatia, where the second round of the tournament was played on Saturday and Sunday), we went to do the test. Mine and Jelena’s (his wife) tested positive. Those of negative children, “Djokovic said in the statement.
– No health protocol –
Number one said he was “completely devastated by each individual case of contamination.” “I hope the number of infected does not increase,” he added.
“Everything we have done for a month we did with all our heart and good intentions,” added the Serbian, recalling that the tournament was organized “with the idea of helping tennis players in the region.”
A packed stadium, with practically no one wearing the mask and players hugging on the court, having dinner together without any precautionary measure and a party in a disco where Djokovic and Dimitrov among others could be seen shirtless, in addition to basketball games Without restrictions. These were the images left by the Belgrade stage of the Adria Tour.
None of these acts went against the rules of the Serbian health authorities.
“We organized the tournament at the time when the virus was weakening, believing that the conditions for its celebration were met,” insisted Djokovic, adding that he would be isolated for 14 days and that he would undergo a test again in five days.
Four other high-level participants on the Adria Tour; Dominic Thiem (3rd), Alexander Zverev (7th), Andrey Rublev (14th) and Marin Cilic (37th) tested negative.
The cascade effect caused by the behavior of the Adria Tour participants jeopardizes the resumption of the professional men’s circuit, scheduled from August 14 in Washington, a stop prior to the US Open (August 31 – September 13).
– Image deficit –
The great American had managed to carry out his edition by establishing a very strict sanitary protocol, with measures described as “extreme” by Djokovic.
Less appreciated by the general public than his rivals for eternity Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, Djokovic has chained controversy in recent weeks, distancing himself even further from the other two legends.
The winner of 17 grand had a chat on Instagram during the lockdown and promoted a person who claimed that it was possible to purify water through thought and questioned that he would be vaccinated in case the remedy for the coronavirus is found.
In addition, he did not participate in the videoconference organized by the ATP at the beginning of June to discuss the resumption of the circuit, which had been stopped since March. Some 400 tennis players did so, without their main representative appearing – Djokovic is the president of the players’ council.
Tennis players have begun to raise their voices against their number 1. “If Novak does not catch COVID, I start blessing my water with positive waves,” the American Tennys Sandgren ironically said before the Serbian tested positive.
Nick Kyrgios, the most controversial player on the circuit and highly critical of his colleagues playing the Adria Tour, declared this Tuesday after Djokovic’s announcement: “Prayers for all the players who have been infected. Don’t mention what I was able to do as ‘irresponsible’ or ‘stupid’. This beats it all. AFP (HN)