İrem UZUN -TDO- World's number one in men's tennis, Novak Djokovic, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus after taking part in a tennis exhibition series he organized in Serbia and Croatia. The top-ranked Serb is the fourth player to test positive for the virus after first playing in Serbia's capital, Belgrade, and then again last weekend in Zadar, Croatia. His wife also tested positive.
Djokovic said "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." The tournament witnessed packed stands during the opening leg in Belgrade, players hugging at the net, playing basketball, posing for pictures and attending press conferences together. Djokovic organized nights out in the Serbian capital 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 physical distancing rules in either country.
According to the Reuters, Djokovic said the idea behind his tournament was noble and he wanted to raise funds for players in need. “Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions,” said Djokovic, who is also the head of the players council of the men’s ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Tour. “Our tournament meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region. “The Tour has been designed to help tennis players from South-Eastern Europe to gain access to some competitive tennis while the various tours are on hold due to the COVID-19 situation.”