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World tennis number one Novak Djokovic tests positive for COVID-19

“I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection. I hope that it will not complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine. I will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days, and repeat the test in five days.”

Djokovic has been criticised for organising the tournament and bringing in players from other countries amid the coronavirus pandemic, with Australian star Nick Kyrgios on Monday declaring it a “boneheaded decision” on Twitter.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic, centre, poses with volunteers and players after the tournament in Belgrade on June 14.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, centre, poses with volunteers and players after the tournament in Belgrade on June 14.Credit:AP

Following Tuesday’s announcement of Djokovic’s positive test, Kyrgios was again quick to express his views, tweeting: “Oh Boy”.

He then added: “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.”

The tournament had packed stands during the opening leg in Belgrade, players hugging at the net, playing basketball, posing for pictures and attending press conferences together.

Djokovic organised nights out in Belgrade for the players and pictures and videos of him dancing with the other participants at his event were posted on social media.

With both Serbia and Croatia easing lockdown measures weeks before the event, players were not obliged to observe social distancing rules in either country.

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Troicki said on Tuesday that he and his pregnant wife have both been diagnosed with the virus, while Dimitrov, a three-time grand slam semi-finalist, said on Sunday that he had tested positive. Coric played Dimitrov on Saturday in Zadar and said on Monday that he had also tested positive.

“Everything we did in the past month, 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.”

Djokovic, who has previously said he was against taking a vaccine for the virus even if it became mandatory to travel, was the face behind the Adria Tour, a series of exhibition events that started in the Serbian capital and then moved to Zadar.

He left Croatia after the final was cancelled and was tested in Belgrade.

Despite the positive test, he defended the exhibition series.

“It was all 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 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.

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“Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope and live with.”

A following statement confirmed that the remainder of the Adria Tour had been cancelled, the two-day event on July 3 and 4 in Banja Luka, Bosnia and the planned exhibition match with Bosnian Damir Dzumhur in Sarajevo on July 5.

“We are extremely disappointed to have to cancel the events in Banja Luka and Sarajevo,” said Novak’s brother, Djordje Djokovic, the director of the Adria Tour.

“We were looking forward to treating fans in these two cities to watching Novak Djokovic and other top players. Unfortunately, the recent events make everyone’s speedy recovery a top priority.”

Reuters, AP

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