Novak Djokovic’s troubles continue as his Adria Tour produces another Covid-19 victim and one who is more closer to home than the four already named.
Once you start having mass gatherings with people coming in from all sorts of countries, it's a recipe for it to kick off Andy Murray
Viktor Troicki, his Siberian Davis Cup colleague, joins Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric on the tested positive list for coronavirus, in addition to two coaches bringing the total to five infected during what can only be described as the disastrous series of exhibition matches in the Balkans featuring the world number.
What damage is being doing to the subsequent return of the main tours is yet to be seen.
Meanwhile, Andrey Rublev, who was due to face Djokovic in last weekend’s final in Zadar, cancelled on the news of Dimitrov’s positive results, has placed himself in quarantine despite testing negative.
“Hi everyone! I wanted to tell you that I am fine and healthy. I tested negative for Covid-19. I hope that our lives will soon return to normal. And we can handle it together,” the Russian posted on his official Twitter account on Monday afternoon, and then followed that up with: “What is happening in the world now is our responsibility. This is a global problem and it affects all of us. We need to all help reduce the spreading of this virus. So I am going to self-quarantine for the next 14 days. Thank you for your support.”
Marin Cilic has also announced he would quarantine for 14 days.
But while Rublev has been lauded for taking a responsible attitude towards the pandemic, he has also been chastised for taking part in the first place, albeit the anger towards the organiser, Djokovic, is mounting.
Meanwhile, Andy Murray highlighted it as “a lesson for all of us”.
On the eve of Schroder’s Battle of Brits, he the former world number one said: “Once you start having mass gatherings with people coming in from all sorts of countries, it’s a recipe for it to kick off.”
Speaking before Troicki was diagnosed positive, Britain’s No.1 Dan Evans was extremely vocal about it, pointing a finger at Djokovic who he believes was irresponsible, especially as he is the President of the ATP Player Council.
“He should feel some responsibility in his event and how it has transpired,” he stated.
“Put it this way I don’t think he should be having players partying and dancing all over each other. Now two very good tennis players have tested positive. He should feel some responsibility in his event and how it has transpired.
“Running exhibition events is good and the one in France (Ultimate Tennis Showdown), it looks like they are social distancing.
“This one (Schroders Battle of the Brits) has been socially distanced so well and I just think it’s a poor example to set, even if the guidelines in that country say it’s not two metres, this virus is not a joke.
“I just think there has been a total disregard to social distancing. It’s very unfortunate that Grigor has it and Coric has it, but if you strip it back and ask if its a surprise, that is the question we should all ask.
“Hopefully that event doesn’t take away from the US Open and I hope there is no second-guessing on the US Open (whether it will go ahead) now.”
Two other high profile players, Dominic Thiem, world No.3 and Alexander Zverev, 7, have tested negative, no doubt to their relief.
“I have just received the news that my team and I have tested negative for COVID-19,” Germany’s Zverev wrote and then went on to apologise for his actions in the Balkans.
“I deeply apologize to anyone that I have potentially put at risk by playing this tour,” he added while revealing he would be following “self-isolating guidelines.”