World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic admitted on Tuesday that it was too soon to hold a charity event like the Adria Tour which he organised with his brother in Serbia and Croatia.
Djokovic tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday while with three other players, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki, contracted the virus before him. Djokovic’s wife Jelena, fitness trainer Marco Panichi as well as Dimitrov’s coach Christian Groh have also tested positive.
In a fresh statement issued late on Tuesday night, Djokovic once again apologised to all those who contracted the virus and advised everyone who were a part of the tournament to get tested and then practice social distancing.
“I am so deeply sorry our tournament has caused harm. Everything the organisers and I did the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions.
“We believed the tournament met all health protocols and the health of our region seemed in good condition to finally unite people for philanthropic reasons. We were wrong and it was too soon. I Can’t express enough how sorry I am for this and every case of infection,” Djokovic said in a statement he issued on social media.
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) June 23, 2020
Djokovic was the fourth player to test positive for the illness after participating in the matches held in Belgrade and Zadar, Croatia. The others were three-time Grand Slam semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki.
The remainder of the tournament was cancelled after the news of Novak and Jelena Djokovic’s illness broke.
“If you attended the Adria Tour or were around any attendees please get tested and practice social distancing. For those in Belgrade and Zadar, we will be sharing health resources in the immediate future. The rest of the tournament has been cancelled and we will remain focussed on all those who have been affected. I pray for everyone’s full recovery,” the statement further read.
The Adria Tour exhibition matches were meant to raise money to help those affected by the pandemic but where the stands were packed and players casually interacted with fans and each other off the court.
Djokovic and other players were seen hugging each other and partying in night clubs and restaurants. Djokovic, who is yet to show symptoms of COVID-19, will now remain in self-isolation for 14 days.
Novak Djokovic and his wife Jelena tested positive for coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/xehb3CHEc5
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) June 23, 2020
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic also attended the event in Zadar on Saturday but he has refused to self-isolate himself following his brief encounter with Novak Djokovic.
Plenkovic tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday but calls from opposition politicians for him to self-isolate grew stronger on Tuesday after Djokovic, whom he had met briefly, tested positive.