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Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball during an exhibition tournament in Zadar, Croatia, Sunday, June 21, 2020. Tennis player Grigor Dimitrov says he has tested positive for COVID-19 and his announcement led to the cancellation of an exhibition event in Croatia where Novak Djokovic was scheduled to play on Sunday. (AP Photo/Zvonko Kucelin)

Novak Djokovic Tests Positive for Coronavirus

The No. 1 tennis player in the world Novak Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19 following an exhibition event in Croatia. He is now the fourth member involved in the Adria Tour to test positive for the virus.

Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov, right, Croatia’s Borna Coric (AP Photo/Zvonko Kucelin)

World No. 19 Grigor Dimitrov and No. 33 Borna Coric both announced they tested positive after playing in the tournament. The tour was cancelled following the announcements.

Djokovic’s fitness trainer Marco Panichi also tested positive for the virus but was asymptomatic.

After these positive cases, Djokovic was promoted to also be tested. The tennis star confirmed on Tuesday that both him and his wife were infected.

Although some are still shocked with the news, others admit this was something to be expected. Australian tennis player Nicholas Kyrgios called it a “boneheaded decision” to go through with this tour after Coric announced his test results.

https://twitter.com/NickKyrgios/status/1274971571363344386

Kyrgios is not the only tennis player to have criticized the tour. Tennis great Chris Evert criticized the tour’s safety protocols, which were close to none.

“I don’t understand … no safe distancing, total physical contact, no face masks, even the fans were without masks,” wrote Evert on his twitter.

Evert made this comment after pictures of the tour were released. They featured players greeting each other with hugs and avoiding all social distancing guidelines.

Adria Tour’s Initial Purpose

The Adria Tour was a four-city tennis tour organized by Djokovic. His purpose with this tour was to donate all of the funds generated to people in need. He also wanted to bring the world together in a time of crisis.

The tour was scheduled to stop at Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Some people quickly questioned the safety of this tour once plans of it were released. Claims of this tour being too “risky” and too “soon” were made.

But Djokovic was also quick to defend his tour and his intentions. He claimed that they chose a perfect time to hold this tour, as it was a time where the virus was weak.

He also responded to the criticism received at the start of the tour where their social distancing guidelines were questioned.

“We have never crossed those lines, so we always waited for them to give us a green light whether we could or could not have the crowd, and then we asked them once we could have, how much we could have, whether there was a social distancing or not. So we have been through all those processes and the result of it all is amazing.”

Four positive coronavirus tests and one cancelled tour later, Djokovic realized the mistake he made.

The Serbia native admitted that he was wrong in thinking that it was safe to go on with the tour. He had to face the reality that the virus is still present and unpredictable.

Djokovic expressed his apologies and concerns through a post on his social media. In it, he apologized for all of the harm this tour might have brought. He also encouraged everyone who attended the tour, or was in contact with someone who did, to get tested.

About Camila Maffuz

Camila is a senior at the University of Florida studying Telecommunications with a specialization in production and a minor in Innovation. She is also seeking a Sports Management certificate. You can also catch Camila every two weeks on UF's student-ran newscast, WUFT, as a sports reporter.

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