Tennis star Novak Djokovic has come under criticism after two players tested positive for coronavirus while playing in an exhibition tennis tournament in Croatia involving the world number, where his brother Djordje, was the tournament director. Croatia’s Borna Coric announced on Monday that he had tested positive for coronavirus, a day after Grigor Dimitrov also announced that he had tested positive. The tournament’s final, which was to be played on Sunday was cancelled as a precaution after Dimitrov tested positive. Tennis fans took to social media to slam Novak Djokovic for being “ignorant and irresponsible” by hosting the tournament at a time when the world is battling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also playing in the tournament were world number three Dominic Thiem, former US Open winner Marin Cilic, seventh-ranked Alexander Zverev and Filip Krajinovic.
— borna coric (@borna_coric) June 22, 2020
Responding to Coric’s tweet announcing that he tested positive, fans let their ire for Djokovic be known.
“@DjokerNole should be ashamed of himself. He is ignorant and irresponsible!” wrote one user.
“Haha what a mess. Arrest Novak Djokovic. Criminal,” wrote another user.
“What part of GLOBAL pandemic do these ppl not understand? As long as there’s still ONE case , no one is safe. And we are far beyond apologies. You may be asymptomatic but how many people did you in turn infect?” commented another user, tagging Djokovic.
“Shame on you @DjokerNole for being so irresponsible. You should have been careful,” wrote another.
“It’s too bad. This now taints any effort to start the tour back,” wrote another user.
The ATP tour is set to resume on August 14, with the US Open scheduled to begin on August 31.
— Igor Obregon (@IgorObregonC) June 22, 2020
@DjokerNole should be ashamed of himself. He is ignorant and irresponsible!
— BlindFuturist (@BlindFuturist) June 22, 2020
Haha what a mess. Arrest Novak Djokovic. Criminal.
— e (@XEnthe824) June 22, 2020
It wasn’t just fans who criticised Djokovic for hosting the tournament.
Australian star Nick Kyrgios responded to Coric’s tweet by describing the staging of the tournament as “boneheaded”.
Boneheaded decision to go ahead with the ‘exhibition’ speedy recovery fellas, but that’s what happens when you disregard all protocols. This IS NOT A JOKE. https://t.co/SUdxfijkbK
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) June 22, 2020
Responding to Dimitrov’s positive test on Sunday, Djokovic’s brother Djordje, the tournament director, told Sportske Novosti: “Novak? He took this news very hard. We undertook all the measures prescribed by the governments of Serbia and Croatia.”
The Adria Tour had been organised to fill the gap in the virus-hit tennis calendar which has been on ice since mid-March and was played out to a daily crowd of 4,000 fans at Djokovic’s tennis centre on the banks of the Danube in Belgrade last week.
(With inputs from AFP)
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