The resumption of the sport of tennis has been seriously derailed after Novak Djokovic tested positive for coronavirus today.
Djokovic had sought to spearhead the reboot of his sport by launching the Adria Tour last week in Croatia. Instead, tennis is plunged into crisis.
Djokovic's Adria Tour launched last week in Croatia which a genuine eye towards rebooting the sport, though it put little focus on social distancing. The final had to be cancelled because finalist Gregori Dmitrov tested positive for covid. Now three more players who were involved have tested positive for the coronavirus, including Djokovic.
Making matters worse for the Serb, videos have surfaced of him and other players involved at the weekend frolicking in nightclubs without T-shirts and flouting all social distancing requirements.
Tennis's bad boy Nick Kyrgios - who refused to play in the matches because of safety concerns - shared the videos with the world.
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
https://t.co/FeD2OJ3L6I how dumb can they all be honestly.
— Melanie Maizels (@mel_maizels) June 23, 2020
Djokovic released the following statement today:
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.
Everything we did in the 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 Covid-19.
It was 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.
We organized the tournament when the virus has weakened, believing the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met.
Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality we are 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 it will not complicate anyone's health situation and everyone will be fine.
I will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days, and repeat the test in five days.