Novak Djokovic Tests Positive for the Coronavirus

Written by on June 23, 2020

Novak Djokovic, the world’s top-ranked male tennis participant, stated on Tuesday that he and his spouse, Jelena, had examined constructive for the coronavirus, after days of growing criticism over a event he organized after which different gamers and coaches have been discovered to be contaminated.

The exhibition event, referred to as the Adria Tour, was imagined to convey a few of the world’s finest gamers to Balkan nations, together with Serbia, the place Djokovic is from, and supply some earnings for the contributors and a few welcome leisure to tennis followers who haven’t seen skilled video games since March.

Nobody wore face masks and social distancing wasn’t enforced within the stands in the course of the collection. Gamers mingled freely with one another after matches and posed for images with ball children and event officers. There was no systematic testing executed for the coronavirus on the contributors earlier than the occasion started, in response to the organizers. Apart from the Djokovics, at the very least three distinguished gamers have examined constructive: Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki, a Serbian whose spouse, Aleksandra, additionally has examined constructive together with two coaches. That has prompted fears among the many authorities in Croatia and Serbia that the athletes might have triggered a brand new wave of infections.

In Zadar, a small coastal city in Croatia that had no confirmed infections till it hosted a leg of the competitors, the authorities have been left scrambling to hint and check individuals who may need are available contact with Dimitrov, a Bulgarian participant who stated on Sunday after returning to his house base in Monaco that he had examined constructive.

Goran Ivanisevic, a former Wimbledon champion from Croatia who now coaches Djokovic, was the director of the occasion in Zadar. Ivanisevic, who stated he had examined destructive for the coronavirus, stated it’s unclear the place and when Dimitrov contracted it. Ivanisevic stated Dimitrov got here to Serbia from Los Angeles after which traveled to Bulgaria earlier than arriving in Zadar.

“He got here right here on Wednesday and was complaining about his elbow,” Ivanisevic stated by phone from Zadar. “The primary time Grigor stated he was not feeling nice normally was on Friday and on Saturday he performed his first match in opposition to Coric. He didn’t look excellent.”

Dimitrov withdrew from his second match on Saturday however remained dedicated to enjoying Sunday earlier than deciding as an alternative to depart the occasion and return to Monaco.

“No person understands this freaking corona to be trustworthy,” Ivanisevic stated. “I used to be two weeks with Marco Panichi, who’s Novak’s health coach. I used to be with him evening and day, and he’s constructive, and I’m destructive, so methods to clarify that?”

Djokovic returned to Belgrade, the Serbian capital, after the event’s ultimate on Sunday was referred to as off. He caused a stir in April after he recommended that he would quite not be vaccinated in opposition to the coronavirus. The Serbian participant has stated he needed to know what’s finest for his physique, whereas retaining an open thoughts.

“All the pieces we did prior to now month, we did with a pure coronary heart and honest intentions,” Djokovic stated in an announcement saying his constructive check. “Our event meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion all through the area.”

He stated earlier than the occasion started in Belgrade earlier this month that the tour was following pointers from native authorities by not imposing strict restrictions on participant contact and by permitting spectators to attend matches.

“We organized the event when the virus has weakened, believing that the situations for internet hosting the tour had been met,” Djokovic stated Tuesday. “Sadly, this virus remains to be current, and it’s a new actuality that we’re nonetheless studying to manage and stay with. I’m hoping issues will ease with time so we will all resume lives the way in which they have been. I’m extraordinarily sorry for every particular person case of an infection. I hope that it’s going to not complicate anybody’s well being scenario, and that everybody will probably be high quality.”

Djokovic stated that his two younger kids — Stefan, 5, and Tara, 2 — had examined destructive for the virus and that he would stay in isolation in Belgrade for the following 14 days. The rest of the tour, scheduled for Banja Luka and Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been canceled.

“It’s simple to be a basic after a combat,” Ivanisevic stated. “All people is sensible now, and they’re attacking Novak. He tried to do a terrific factor, a humanitarian factor. We have been locked down for 3 months. He organized this tour. The gamers got here in Belgrade and we had good tennis and a great ambiance. All the pieces in Serbia and all the pieces in Croatia was executed with the suggestions by the federal government.”



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Three different main gamers who took half within the tour — Marin Cilic, Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev — all introduced on Monday that that they had examined destructive for the virus however would additionally self-isolate for 2 weeks.

Djokovic, 33, just isn’t solely the highest participant on this planet, he’s additionally president of the ATP Participant Council, which has been actively concerned in planning for the return of the common males’s tour. The tour has been shut down since March due to the pandemic and is now scheduled to renew in mid-August on the earliest. When it resumes, the plan is to take action with out spectators and with strict testing and well being protocols in place.

A number of prime gamers have criticized Djokovic’s choice to prepare the Adria Tour with none such measures, arguing that it not solely risked public well being, however despatched the unsuitable message to the broader world. “Apparently there’s a pandemic,” Andy Roddick, a former No. 1 from the US, wrote on Twitter.

“A horror present,” stated Bruno Soares, a Brazilian doubles star who can also be a member of the participant council, in an interview with GloboEsporte. “With the scenario on this planet, even in case you are on the North Pole, you don’t exit and celebration and put up the pictures on Instagram.”

“That’s what occurs if you disregard all protocols. This IS NOT A JOKE,” wrote the Australian participant Nicholas Kyrgios.

Different gamers have been much less important of Djokovic straight. “It’s not Djokovic who’s at fault,” stated Richard Gasquet, a veteran French participant, in an interview with L’Équipe on Monday. “He didn’t put a gun to folks’s heads and demand that there be 5,000 spectators. It’s the federal government that selected to welcome these 5,000 folks in a single website. However it’s true that every one these folks, it was loopy. It’s the one place on this planet the place we noticed a crowd like that.”

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