A storm has erupted in the tennis world for a few hours. With international tennis suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, men’s world number one Djokovic organised the Adria Tour as a charity event designated to be contested over four legs across the former Yugoslavia. Two players who participated in this event of Novak Djokovic have tested COVID-19 positive. These are players Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric.
Sunday’s final event in the Croatian city of Zadar had to be cancelled after Grigor Dimitrov became the highest-profile tennis player to test positive for Covid-19 so far. Dimitrov was filmed dancing in a nightclub with Djokovic, Zverev and others after last week’s Adria Tour event in Belgrade, while he also joined his Zadar co-stars for a game of basketball on Thursday.
Dimitrov was tested for coronavirus in Monaco, but travelled to Croatia to play on the Adria Tour where he took on Borna Coric on Saturday. The Bulgarian did not shake hands with his opponent or the umpire after he was beaten because he was already feeling ill.
On June 22, Coric wrote on Twitter: “Hi everyone, I wanted to inform you all that I tested positive for COVID-19. I want to make sure anyone who has been in contact with me during the last few days gets tested. I am really sorry for any harm I might have caused! I’m feeling well and don’t have any symptoms. Please stay safe and healthy! Lots of love to all!”.
Coric, with four other people, have contracted the virus just one day after Grigor Dimitrov announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.
In addition to world number 19 Dimitrov, Coric and Troicki, world number three Dominic Thiem, seventh-ranked Alexander Zverev, world number 14 Andrey Rublev and 2014 US Open champions Marin Cilic also took part in the first two legs, before Dimitrov’s diagnosis stopped play.
Zverev, Rublev, Thiem and Cilic revealed that they had tested negative after Dimitrov’s revelation. Djokovic is reportedly still waiting on test results. Thiem travelled to France and played Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Ultimate Tennis Showdown overnight.
Dimitrov played Coric in his opening match on Saturday, losing, 4-1, 4-1, before withdrawing and flying back to Monaco. Coric returned the court for an evening-session match against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who would win, 4-1, 4-3 (1).
With both Serbia and Croatia easing lockdown measures weeks before the event, players were not obliged to observe social distancing rules in either country and were seen embracing at the net at the end of their matches. Fans in Croatia, however, were subject to the rules and had to keep their distance, meaning that the 9,000-capacity Visnjik tennis complex was half-full for the event.