British No 1 Dan Evans points accusing finger at Novak Djokovic over ill-fated Adria Tour

Kevin Palmer
Dan Evans at ATP Cup

British No 1 Dan Evans has accused Novak Djokovic of showing a lack of responsibility after three players who took part in his Adria Tour tested positive for Covid-19.

World No 19 Grigor Dimitrov announced on Instagram that he had returned a positive test after he played Croatia’s Borna Coric on Saturday in Croatia in front of a big crowd at an event that appeared to have a relaxed approach social distancing guidelines that are in place around the world.

Now Coric has confirmed that he has also tested positive for coronavirus and Viktor Troicki has also confirmed that he and his wife tested positive after he played in the event.

The chaos inspired Australian star Nick Kyrgios to suggest the decision to stage an event that saw players competing in basketball games and staging parties in nightclubs was ‘boneheaded’ and big crowds in attendance.

Nick Kyrgios lambaste ‘bonehead decision’ to stage Adria Tour after two players test positive for Covid-19

Evans is set to take part in the Schroders Battle of the Brits exhibition event at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre in London over the next six days, where no fans will be in attendance and strict social distancing guidelines and testing will be in place and he suggested Djokovic and the organisers of Adria Tour should accept the blame for the collapse of their event.

“He should feel some responsibility in his event and how it has transpired,” stated Evans, as he was asked about Djokovic’s prominent role in the Adria Tour.

“Put it this way I don’t think he should be having a players partying and dancing all over each other. Now two very good tennis players have tested positive. He should feel some responsibility in his event and how it has transpired.

“Running exhibition events is good and the one in France (Ultimate Tennis Showdown), it looks like they are social distancing.

“This one (Schroders Battle of the Brits on Amazon Prime Video) has been socially distanced so well and I just think it’s a poor example to set, even if the guidelines in that country say it’s not two metres, this virus is not a joke.

“If if the guidelines were taken away to normal, I’d still be trying to keep myself out of the way as much as I could from other people. I just think there has been a total disregard to that. It’s very unfortunate that Grigor has it and Coric has it, but if you strip it back and ask if its a surprise, that is the question we should all ask. We could defiantly learn from that.

“Hopefully that event doesn’t take away from the US Open and I hope there is no second-guessing on the US Open (whether it will go ahead) now.”

As President of the ATP Players Council, Djokovic now has questions to answer over his exuberant role in leading the Adria Tour, with Grand Slam doubles champion Jamie Murray convinced the Battle of the Brits event is following a very different approach as they prepare to take to the court on Tuesday.

“We are doing everything we can to limit that from happening at this event,” stated Murray. “We keep reminding people of the situation not to relax and to keep the two metres, but we are doing that.

“There will probably be a few more eyes on us now given what happened with the Adria Tour, but each country have got their own guidelines in place. We are following the government guidelines to put on a sporting event.

“Having gone through what we have gone through in Britain over the last few months, to see live sporting events on TV with a crowd looks strange, especially having watched football over the last two or three nights with no crowds.

“We are doing whatever we can, following the protocols the government has set out, to run this event.”

The Schroders Battle of the Brits event featuring Andy Murray all of Britain’s top players will be available to watch on Amazon Prime Video from Tuesday.

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