August 5, 2021

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Coronavirus cases in Novak Djokovic tournament cause a stir in tennis

BELGRADE, Serbia .- A series of tennis exhibitions organized by Novak Djokovic plus the relaxation of restrictions by the coronavirus in Serbia and Croatia, an increase in positive cases among several professional athletes.

Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric, two tennis players that appear in the top 40 in the world ranking, as well as footballers from the Serbian club Estrella Roja, tested positive for the virus. They all participated in sporting events in which spectators were allowed and social distancing protocols were not followed.

Djokovic, the number one in world tennis and who has previously said that he will not vaccinate for the virus even if he declares as Mandatory to travel, he underwent a diagnostic test, the Serbian star's press team reported Monday.

“He will wait for the results. Okay, he has no symptoms, but he still has to get tested and we'll know what's going on, "they said in a statement.

Djokovic was the main face of the Adria Tour, a series of exhibitions that started in Belgrade and continued in Zadar, Croatia this weekend.

Dimitrov, a Bulgarian who has reached the semifinal round three times in Grand Slam tournaments, confirmed on Sunday that he tested positive for COVID-19. Coric, a Croatian who faced Dimitrov in Zadar on Saturday, revealed on Monday that he also tested positive.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic was among those attending the spa and will also undergo a test.

"I am very sorry for the damage I could have caused," Coric said on Twitter. The world number 33 asked that everyone who had contact with him be tested for the virus.

It would be many people. Coric, Djokovic, and other tennis players, including Marin Cilic, played basketball with a local team last week and posed for photos.

Djokovic was due to play in the final of the tour on Sunday, but the event was canceled. [19659006] Djokovic and Dimitrov also played at the start of the Adria Tour, a week earlier in Belgrade. Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev, who played in the Serbian capital, said they will be quarantined despite negative tests.

"I greatly apologize to anyone who has potentially put me at risk," Zverev wrote on Twitter.

The ATP Tour indicated in a statement that it wishes a full recovery for affected players, adding that he urges strict compliance with distancing measures and hygiene recommendations.

In a separate incident, Red Star confirmed that five of its players tested positive for the virus. Serbian champions reported that Marko Gobeljic, Njegos Petrovic, Dusan Jovancic, Marko Konatar and Branko Jovicic s feel good and are isolated.

Four of the players have shown symptoms of COVID-19, while another is asymptomatic, Red Star said. The team's last game was on Saturday, but they played when Estrella Rojas took on Partizan in the Serbian Cup semi-finals in front of 20,000 fans. Social distancing was not applied and few covered themselves with masks.

Dimitrov's announcement on Sunday was at the end of a week in which the United States Open confirmed that it will take place from August 31.

After Dimitrov's announcement, Djokovic traveled to Belgrade to undergo the test. The other participants and their contacts were tested on Sunday in Zadar, located on the Adriatic coast.

Djokovic expressed reluctance to attend the US Open, between August 31 and September 13, due to strict measures to avoid the spread of the virus in the Grand Slam tournament.

Several tennis luminaries, including reigning men's champion Rafael Nadal and number one women's Ash Barty, have voiced ambivalence about going to a city that was one from the epicenters of the outbreak. Others have stated to play again.

Formally, the U.S. Open is usually the fourth and final Grand Slam tournament in each season. It could now be the second, after the Australian Open, which concluded in early February.

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