There was no celebratory party in Zadar to mark the end of the second weekend of Novak Djokovic’s Adria Tour as the repercussions of the organisers lack of safety precautions hit home with Grigor Dimitrov revealing on Sunday that he had contracted the COVID-19 virus.
I am so sorry for any harm I might have caused. I am back home now and recovering. Grigor Dimitrov
The Bulgarian admitted he had tested positive on his return from Croatia to his home in Monaco after he had played in the exhibition event in Belgrade and Zadar with the world number one, the previous weekend, writing on Instagram: “I want to reach out and let my fans and friends know that I tested positive back in Monaco for Covid-19. I want to make sure anyone who has been in contact with me during these past days gets tested and takes the necessary precautions.
“I am so sorry for any harm I might have caused. I am back home now and recovering.”
Dimitrov, the world No.19, was competing alongside Dominic Thiem (3), Alexander Zverev (17) and former US Open champion Marin Cilic but withdrew from the event after he lost to Borna Coric complaining that he was feeling unwell.
The immediate reaction was to cancel the final which was to feature Djokovic against Andrey Rublev with the organisers ordering all the players back to the hotel for testing and issuing a statement saying that “at all times, we have strictly followed the epidemiological measures in place” which were much more lax than in other countries because of the relatively low numbers on Covid cases in the country.
So far no news as to whether any other players have fallen victims but it does highlight the problem facing other events who are easing back following the suspension of the tours since last March when the pandemic was first announced and scheduled to resume in August.
The criticism which was levelled at Djokovic and his Adria Tour colleagues during inaugural Belgrade leg with players embracing and high-fives on court in front of packed stands, playing football and basketball between matches and then being filmed dancing in a night club with their shirts off, has now been justified.
More importantly, this is the second occasion that Djokovic has been exposed to the virus having a week earlier also been in the company of a basketball player who was later tested positive. His condition is now awaited with interest.