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Novak Djokovic on Tuesday mentioned he was “deeply sorry” after turning into the fourth tennis participant to check constructive for coronavirus following an exhibition event he hosted within the Balkans, admitting he and organisers “were wrong” to go forward with the occasion.
Djokovic, who was not exhibiting any signs, joined fellow gamers Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki in testing constructive for COVID-19 throughout the second leg of the occasion the place social distancing was minimal, gamers had been filmed dancing bare-top in a nightclub and embracing one another over the online.
World primary Djokovic mentioned his spouse Jelena additionally examined constructive whereas the outcomes of their kids had been unfavorable.
“I am so deeply sorry our tournament has caused harm,” the 33-year-old Serb, who has mentioned he could be towards a obligatory coronavirus vaccination if it turned a requirement for tennis gamers to journey to tournaments, wrote on Twitter.
“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,” the 17-time Grand Slam winner mentioned, including that he would now go into self-isolation for the subsequent 14 days.
“We were wrong and it was too soon.”
Bulgaria’s Dimitrov, the world quantity 19, introduced on Sunday he had examined constructive after pulling out of the occasion, the largest because the tennis season was halted due to a pandemic that has killed over 470,000 folks worldwide because it surfaced in China late final yr.
Croatia’s Coric and Troicki of Serbia adopted go well with on Monday, revealing in addition they had examined constructive.
The ultimate within the Croatian coastal city of Zadar was additionally cancelled Sunday.
The outbreak raises the query on how the ATP and WTA can greatest handle the restart of their excursions scheduled for August.
It has already been established that the US Open in New York shall be performed behind closed doorways and underneath strict well being protocols which Djokovic, to a lot criticism, described as “extreme” and “impossible”.
“Yikes… this is not good and it’s a pattern…” tweeted feminine tennis legend Martina Navratilova after information of Djokovic’s constructive take a look at.
“Hope Novak will be ok of course! What now, US Open? Roland Garros? We have a lot of work to do…”
Yikes… this isn’t good and it’s a sample… Hope Novak shall be okay in fact! What now, US Open? Roland Garros? We have now quite a lot of work to do… https://t.co/soyghND0Li
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) June 23, 2020
The ATP, whereas wishing these contaminated a swift restoration, mentioned Tuesday that it and different stakeholders had “made exhaustive plans to mitigate risks through a variety of precautions and protocols to be implemented at ATP events”.
“We continue to plan and adjust these precautions and protocols according to latest medical information and prioritise safety in assessing every decision.”
No social distancing
The cancellation of the Serbian star’s Adria Tour has come on the again of plenty of gaffes for Djokovic, who’s the president of the ATP Participant Council.
First criticised for breaking lockdown guidelines to coach in Spain, he then invited derision for insisting feelings can change the standard of water whereas virtually concurrently insisting that he wouldn’t be ready to vaccinate towards coronavirus.
The Adria Tour’s first cease had been performed out to a every day crowd of 4,000 followers at Djokovic’s tennis centre on the banks of the Danube in Belgrade final week, whereas an identical crowd attended the Zadar occasion.
Feliks Lukas, director of the WTA Croatia Bol Open, had warned towards “incredibly bad” organisation in Zadar.
And native media reported that social distancing measures had been revered by neither followers nor gamers in both venue. Djokovic was pictured enjoying basketball with Dimitrov and likewise embracing different gamers within the event.
Djokovic and different gamers together with Belgrade winner Dominic Thiem had been additionally seen partying at a packed evening spot within the Serbian capital.
Thiem has since travelled to the south of France to play in one other exhibition event in Good, the place his take a look at got here again unfavorable.
Commenting on social distancing measures throughout the Belgrade leg, Djokovic argued that each Serbia and the area had been comparatively profitable in containing the virus.
However the Adria Tour had already suffered an embarrassing setback when the deliberate Montenegro leg of the four-nation event was cancelled when it turned obvious Serbia’s well being necessities didn’t match as much as these of Montenegro.
Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios known as it a “boneheaded decision to go ahead with the ‘exhibition'”, whereas Britain’s Andy Murray known as it “a lesson for all of us”.