The World’s top ranked Tennis player Novak Djokovic has become the first top flight Tennis player to test positive to COVID-19 after taking part in tennis tournaments he organised in Serbia and Croatia.
But following the positive results, the Serb said he was ‘so sorry’ for organising the tournament so soon.
In a Twitter post, Djokovic said it had been “too soon” to stage the tournament.
“I am so deeply sorry our tournament has caused harm,” added Djokovic.
He said the tournament had been organised with “good intentions” and a belief that they had “met all health protocols”.
“We were wrong and it was too soon,” Djokovic said.
Following the tests, the rest of the games were cancelled.
Novak is among some of the superstars who have always downplayed the severity of the pandemic still wreaking havoc across the globe.
He was quoted in April saying he didn’t see it necessary for players to be vaccinated against coronavirus before they went for competition.
He said he was against taking a vaccine for the virus even if it became mandatory before he traveled. Djokovic was tested in Belgrade, in Serbia and the results were positive. He had contracted Covid-19.
Novak Djokovik is the world’s number one in men’s tennis. He tested positive for Covid-19 after taking part in a tennis exhibition series he organised in Serbia and Croatia.
The tennis superstar is the fourth player to test positive for the Covid-19 after first playing in Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, and then again in Zadar, Croatia last weekend. His wife Jelena Djokovic also tested positive for Covid-19.
“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,” Djokovic said in a statement on Tuesday, June 23.
Djokovic has been criticized for organising the Adria Tour and bringing in players from other countries during the coronavirus pandemic with spectators cheering them in the stands.
The superstar recently stated he was reluctant to travel to New York for the U.S open in August 2020.
Players are likely to be subjected to stringent restrictions and mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 during the U.S open which he thought was unnecessary.
Djokovic and other players who have so far tested positive for coronavirus were filmed recently in Belgrade, Serbia completely ignoring social distancing regulations.
They danced, kissed, hugged and freely mingled with people in night clubs in Belgrade. Djokovic and his colleagues posed for pictures with spectators.
They went to Belgrade restaurants and always partied in congested places with their faces unmasked.
They never observed social distancing while competing in Croatia and Serbia too.
However , Djokovic says authorities in Croatia and Serbia told them it was safe for them to gather and compete even without observing strict social distancing rules since the pandemic had weakened in Zadar and Belgrade.
“Everything we did, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions,” Djokovic said. “Our tournament meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region.”
“It was all borne with a philanthropic idea, to direct all raised funds towards people in need and it warmed my heart to see how everybody strongly responded to this,” Djokovic said.
“We organised the tournament at the moment when the virus has weakened, believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met.”
“Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope and live with.”
Djokovic, who was asymptomatic, said he would remain in self-isolation for 14 days and repeat the test in 5 days. He also apologised to anyone who became infected as a result of the series.
He added that his intention was to provide established and up and coming tennis players in the Balkan region “a chance to get some competitive matches under their belt.”
Despite the positive test, Djokovic defended the exhibition series. Novak Djokovic becomes the latest player among those who participated in Corotia and Serbia tournaments, organised by Djokovic, to test positive for Covid-19.
Other people who tested positive for Covid-19 include: Serbian tennis player Viktor Troicki and his pregnant wife, Djokovic’s coach Marko Paniki, Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov and his coach Christian Grob. Borna Coric, a Croatian tennis player also tested positive for coronavirus.