World Number 1 Novak Djokovic says sorry after testing positive for COVID-19; Martina Navratilova questions decision to hold US Open


World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic has profusely apologised to fans after the 33-year-old Serb tested positive for COVID-19. Other players who revealed they too had coronavirus after taking part in Djokovic’s Adria Tour competition were Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki.

Novak Djokovic

Djokovic took to social media to issue a heartfelt apology saying that he was ‘extremely sorry for each individual case of infection.’ He wrote, “I am so deeply sorry our tournament has caused harm.” Djokovic added, “We were wrong and it was too soon.”

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

Djokovic said that he allowed himself to be tested for COVID-19 ‘the moment we arrived in Belgrade.’ He said that his result was positive, ‘just as Jelena’s (wife), while the results of our children are negative.’

“Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. Our tournament was meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region,” the Serb said in his statement.

Defending his decision to organise the event, Djokovic said, “We organised the tournament when the virus had weakened, believing the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met. Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality we are learning to cope and live with. I am hoping things will ease with time so we can all resume lives the way they were.”

Meanwhile, tennis legend Martina Navratilova has raised questions on the ATP’s decision to go ahead with the US Open without fans. Reacting to Djokovic testing positive for COVID-19, she tweeted, “Yikes… this is not good and it’s a pattern… Hope Novak will be ok of course! What now, US Open? Roland Garros? We have a lot of work to do…”

A report by BBC said that Zverev, Cilic and Andrey Rublev, who also played in the Adria Tour, have tested negative, but suggested they will all now self-isolate for up to 14 days.