‘I am extremely sorry,’ says Novak Djokovic after he and wife Jelena test positive for coronavirus
World No 1 Novak Djokovic has become the fourth ATP Tour player to test positive following the doomed Adria Tour.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion launched the charity event to raise funds for various humanitarian projects in the Balkan region, but many questioned the decision to play with fans during a pandemic.
Eyebrows were raised when players didn’t adhere to social distancing rules during football and basketball events while the stadiums were packed with fans during matches.
Djokovic, though, insisted that “we are doing what the Serbian government is telling us”.
But the first bombshell rocked the tournament on Sunday when world No 19 Grigor Dimitrov confirmed he tested positive after the Croatia leg and less than 24 hours later Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki followed suit.
Djokovic didn’t take the coronavirus test in Croatia, but took one once he landed in Belgrade and confirmed on Tuesday that both he and his wife Jelena have tested positive.
“The moment we arrived in Belgrade we went to be tested. My result is positive, just as Jelena’s, while the results of our children are negative,” a statement read.
“Everything we did in past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. 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.
“It was all born with a philanthropic idea, to direct all raised funds towards people in need and it warmed my heart to see how everybody strongly responded to this.
“We organised the tournament at the moment when the virus has weakened, believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met.
Novak’s statement 👇 pic.twitter.com/SZhRH1Bifn
— Saša Ozmo (@ozmo_sasa) June 23, 2020
“Unfortunately the virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope and live with. I am hoping things will ease with time so we can all resume lives the way they were.
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.”
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