Djokovic tests positive for Covid-19

Novak Djokovic, the men’s world number one tennis player, has tested positive for COVID-19, the Serbian said in a statement on Tuesday.

Croatia’s Borna Coric, Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria and Viktor Troicki have previously tested positive after playing in Djokovic’s Adria Tour exhibition tournament in the Balkan region. 

Djokovic, a vaccine skeptic, initially declined testing in Croatia after the tournament was cancelled on Sunday before his media team announced Monday that he would undergo testing upon flying home to Serbia.

Djokovic organised the Adria Tour tournament in Zadar, Croatia, that saw its Sunday finale cancelled after world No. 19 Grigor Dimitrov, No. 33 Borna Coric and ATP pro Viktor Troicki all announced that they tested positive after participating in the event. Troicki told Serbia’s Telegraf website that his wife also tested positive.

Dimitrov announced his positive test on Instagram Sunday and urged “anyone who has been in contact with me during these past days” to get tested. Tournament organisers also advised people who had been in contact with Dimitrov to get tested. Many of the tournament’s participants reportedly underwent immediate testing.

Tournament organisers announced that Djokovic would not undergo testing in Croatia because he “did not feel any symptoms.”

Djokovic was seen playing basketball with Dimitrov on Thursday alongside other players participating in the Adria Tour.

His team said on Monday after arriving home that he would undergo testing.

Djokovic’s agent confirmed to CNN that he had undergone testing and was awaiting results and that his fitness coach Marco Panichi had tested positive while showing no symptoms.

Djokovic said in April that he “is opposed to vaccination” and has criticised the “extreme” and “impossible” coronavirus safety measures planned for the US Open in the fall.

The tournament that also welcomed fans to the stands drew sharp criticism from some in the tennis world.

Nick Kyrgios slammed the event as “boneheaded” in response to Coric’s revelation of his positive test. Eighteen-time Grand Slam title winner Chris Evert questioned the tournament’s lack of social distancing.

Reuters reported that the stands at the event were packed and that players regularly hugged at the net, posed for photos and went out for nights on the town organized by Djokovic. Djokovic put together the tour in response to the regular tennis schedule being altered because of the global pandemic.

ATP wished those who tested positive a speedy recovery and urged “strict adherence to responsible social distancing.”


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