Novak Djokovic has tested positive for the novel coronavirus today, after taking part in a tennis exhibition tour he organized in the Balkans.The world no.1 played in packed stadiums first in Belgrade and then again last weekend in Croatia. Tennis star’s wife, who was accompanying him has also tested positive.
“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.
The test results came after the charity exhibition series, organised by World Number 1 Novak Djokovic. The Serbian star faced massive backlash all over the social media as the tournament’s footage revealed minimal social distancing measures, jam-packed stadiums and trips to nightclubs.
Several tennis players flew to Serbia for the tour on Djokovic’s invitation. The tour which kicked off last week in Belgrade featured Dimitrov, Coric, Alexander Zverev and 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, other than Djokovic himself.
Throughout the weekend, Djokovic and other players were seen hugging, shaking hands and interacting with the crowd. The players had played in several packed venues over the course of the week.
Montenegro called off the third leg of the tournament, scheduled for June 27 and June 28 before the conclusion in Bosnia, as it became quite clear that Serbia had not enforced precautionary measures.
Serbia, which has had 12,894 COVID-19 cases and 261 deaths already, went through almost complete lifting of restrictions earlier this month. A whopping 25,000 fans turned up for Belgrade football derby on Jun 10, three days before Djokovic’s tour started.
It’s Novak’s this anti-science, anti-medicine approach that has put the Serbian in even more controversy. Many twitter users ad critics have also slammed the World Number 1.
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,” he said.
Djokovic will remain in self-isolation for 14 days and also apologized to anyone who became infected as a result of the series.