Novak Djokovic tests positive for coronavirus as Adria Tour claims another victim
World No 1 joins growing list of players who took part in the event to contract the virus
World No 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic has tested positive for coronavirus, according to a statement from the player.
Djokovic had received criticism for organising the Adria Tour in the Balkan region which resulted in Borna Coric, Grigor Dimitrov and Viktor Troicki testing positive for the virus.
Djokovic tested positive after first playing in Belgrade and then again last weekend in Zadar, Croatia.
"The moment we arrived in Belgrade we went to be tested," the 33-year-old said in a statement, adding that he was asymptomatic. "My result is positive, just as [wife] Jelena's, while the results of our children are negative.
"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."
"This was the worst possible scenario," the event's director Djordje Djokovic, Novak's brother, told Serbia's Prva Television.
"Novak was not obliged to take the test in Croatia as he had no symptoms. He took the test straight after his flight landed in Belgrade.
"Around 100 people were tested and I was hard-hit by news that some of them came back positive, especially my childhood friend Borna Coric. We wish all of them a speedy and painless recovery."
The tournament saw packed stands during the opening leg in Belgrade, with players hugging at the net, playing basketball, posing for pictures and attending press conferences together.
Djokovic also organised nights out in Belgrade for the players and videos of him dancing with the other participants were posted on social media, including some of the 17-time Grand Slam champion with his shirt off.
As both Serbia and Croatia eased lockdown measures weeks before the event, players were not obliged to observe social distancing rules in either country.
Djokovic, who is opposed to vaccinations, defended the tournament for going ahead, insisting he had wanted to raise funds for players in need.
"Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions," said Djokovic, who is also the head of the players council of the men's ATP Tour. "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."
A further statement confirmed that the remainder of the Adria Tour had been cancelled, the two-day event on July 3 and 4 in Banja Luka, Bosnia and the planned exhibition match with Bosnian Damir Dzumhur in Sarajevo on July 5.
"We are extremely disappointed to have to cancel the events in Banja Luka and Sarajevo," added Djordje Djokovic.
"We were looking forward to treating fans in these two cities to watching Novak Djokovic and other top players. Unfortunately, the recent events make everyone’s speedy recovery a top priority."
Bulgaria's Dimitrov, the world No 19, announced on Sunday he had tested positive after pulling out of the event, the biggest since the tennis season was halted because of the pandemic.
Croatia's Coric and Troicki of Serbia also followed suit on Monday, revealing they also had tested positive.
Sunday's final in the Croatian coastal town of Zadar, which was supposed to feature Djokovic and Russia's Andrey Rublev, was cancelled.
Some 4,000 fans watched the first leg of the tournament in Belgrade earlier this month.
Djokovic's fitness coach Marco Panichi and Dimitrov's coach Christian Groh also tested positive.
Updated: June 23, 2020 08:15 PM