The N. 1 in the world tennis Novak Djokovic has announced on Tuesday to have tested positive for the coronavirus.
June 23, 2020 8h36
Updated at 10: 30
Novak Djokovic positive to the new coronavirus
BELGRADE — Him too ! Novak Djokovic has revealed Tuesday to have been infected by the coronavirus in the margin of the Adria Tour that he has organised in the Balkans in defiance of all sanitary precautions.
This announcement puts an end to this festive gathering around the tennis court, to tarnish the image of the N. 1 in the world and the risk of altering the recovery of the ATP tour in August.
“Upon arrival to Belgrade (from Zadar, Croatia, which takes place Saturday and Sunday, the second stage of the tournament), we went for tests. Mine and that of Jelena are positive. Those children are negative,” said Djokovic, 33 years old.
“Everything we’ve been doing it since a month was done with the pure heart and with sincere intentions,” says the Serb, stressing that the tournament had been organized “with the idea to help tennis players of the region, to create conditions for them to play, so that they have income in order to overcome more easily the difficult period”.
Except that the Adria Tower, started in Belgrade, continued in Zadar and was scheduled to be completed in Montenegro prior to its cancellation on Tuesday, it was also : a stage filled with Belgrade, almost not a mask of protection, male and female players, who give accolades on the court, dine together without any precaution, lie topless in-a-box (have especially been noticed in this year Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov), play basketball and football without any restriction of contact.
All this was in accordance with the guidelines of déconfinement local. But as a result, in addition to the N. 1 in the world, have been contaminated Grigor Dimitrov (19th), Borna Coric (33rd) and Viktor Troicki (184th), while Alexander Zverev (7th), Andrey Rublev (14th) and Marin Cilic (37th) were tested negative. On the other hand, Dominic Thiem (3rd) who had participated in the fiesta of Belgrade, was overshadowed before the avalanche to Nice, where he participates in the competition of Patrick Mouratoglou, who meet as including Stefanos Tsitsipas (6th), Matteo Berrettini (8th), David Goffin (10th) and Benedict Pair (22nd).
What recovery ?
Tested on his arrival at Nice, Thiem has received the green light to participate in the UTS of Mouratoglou, other gathering exhibition, but closed to the public. But the cascading effect caused by the behavior unbridled of some to the Adria Tower may have an impact on the recovery of the professional circuit ATP scheduled from August 14 to Washington before the US Open (31 August-13 September).
If Novak doesn’t get covid I’m gonna start blessing my water with positive vibes
— Tennys Sandgren (@TennysSandgren) June 22, 2020
Which players will be able to play ? What players dare to take the risk of playing ? What measures the organizers of tournaments are they going to impose on them, knowing that those proposed in a first time the US Open had been qualified as”extreme” by Djokovic before to be relaxed somewhat ? What players will accept these health measures are likely to be strengthened ?
“We held the tournament at the time the virus had weakened, we thought that the conditions were met. […] I’m sorry for every infected person”, she defends Djokovic, adding : “I hope that the number of contaminated will not increase”.
But its excuses and justifications will not change that, the attitude of distrust of the pandemic, and the virus itself, will turn against him.
Especially as the Serbian, who suffers from an image deficit compared to its two main rivals on the circuit, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, has chained the positions taken in controversies in recent months.
In addition to his position as anti-vaccine, reiterated in the heart of the pandemic, the man with 17 titles of Grand Slam has also been promoting on Instagram of a person claiming to be able to purify water by thought, and conspicuous by his absence at the videoconference organized by the ATP at the beginning of June to discuss the resumption of the circuit, frozen since march. Some 400 players participated, but not him, their main representative as the chairman of the Board of the players.
Colleagues Djokovic were generally poorly accepted this absence that has untied languages critical. While the result of the test was to be expected, the American Tennys Sandgren had confined the Serb on Twitter : “If Novak does not catch the COVID, I get to bless my water with positive waves”.
And immediately after the announcement of the positive test, Nick Kyrgios, very critical from the start about the conditions in which took place the Adria Tower and which seemed only to wait for it, was let go : “prayers for all the players who have contracted the COVID-19. Did I not mention to what I could do to irresponsible or that could be called stupid. There, it exceeds everything.”
Prayers up to all the players that have contracted Covid – 19. Don’t @ me for anything I’ve done that has been ‘irresponsible’ or classified as ‘stupidity’ – this takes the cake. https://t.co/lVligELgID
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) June 23, 2020