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As Novak Djokovic’s Adria Tour becomes Covid’s hotspot, tennis plays at full risk

Novak Djokovic’s Adria Tour was criticized because the photos and videos revealed minimal measures of social estrangement. Players played in front of crowded stands, mingling with the crowd and participating in recreational activities: children’s tennis clinics, basketball and soccer games, and a visit to an indoor cabaret club in Belgrade where they were caught dancing shirtless. (Source: AP Photo)

Croatian tennis player Borna Coric confirmed that she tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday, a day after Grigor Dimitrov’s positive test led to the cancellation of the Adria Tour final in Zadar. New announcements are expected as national news agencies have quoted Zadar’s local crisis response team chief Sime Vickovic as saying four tennis players and two coaches tested positive.

The diagnoses came after the series of charity exhibitions, hosted by world number 1 Novak Djokovic, was criticized because the images revealed minimal measures of social estrangement, crowded venues, and player trips to nightclubs and basketball courts. As a result, the initial optimism of the resumption of professional sports after the crash has been replaced by a new threat, as the number of coronavirus infections increases, and cases are now being reported in other returning sports, such as golf.

Adria Tour

At Djokovic’s urging, numerous tennis players flew to the Balkans for the tour, which started last week in the Serbian hometown of Belgrade. In addition to Djokovic, Dimitrov, and Coric, the tournament included Dominic Thiem (World No. 3), Alexander Zverev (7), and the US Open champion. USA 2014 Marin Cilic.

Throughout the weekend, Djokovic and Co were seen hugging, shaking hands, and mingling with the crowd. In fifteen days, Dimitrov had played tennis in two packed stadiums in two different countries, despite soccer and basketball games, and a visit to a covered cabaret club in Belgrade last week with players.

Three-time Grand Slam semi-finalist Dimitrov faced Coric in Saturday’s semifinal in Zadar, where he was visibly ill and suffered a 4-1, 4-1 loss.

Dominic Thiem and runner-up Filip Krajinovic pose with their trophies after the final match along with Dusan Lajovic, Viktor Troicki, Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev, Novak Djokovic and Nikola Milojevic. (Source: Reuters)

After Dimitrov’s announcement on Sunday, Djordje Djokovic, tournament director, and Novak’s younger brother said that “absolutely none (of the players) have symptoms.”

“Before coming to Zadar, Grigor was in his country. We don’t know if he was infected there, but it is certain that everyone who was in close contact with him will be examined tonight, “Djordje told reporters.

This was after Montenegro canceled the third stage of the tournament, scheduled for June 27 and 28 after Croatia and before the conclusion in Bosnia, as it became apparent that Serbia was not meeting strict health guidelines.

Serbia, which has had 12,894 positive cases with 261 deaths, witnessed an almost complete lifting of government restrictions earlier this month. A crowd of 25,000 spectators flocked to the Belgrade derby on June 10, three days before the Djokovic tournament started. Tickets for the Adria Tour sold out in minutes and fans crowded the stands, with few masks.

READ | Novak Djokovic faces violent reaction after insecure Adria Tour

“You can also criticize us and say that this is perhaps dangerous. But it is not up to me to make calls about what is good or bad for health. We are doing what the Serbian government tells us, “Djokovic said at the opening ceremony.

Players absent from the invitation tour criticized the tournament when the news was released. Chief among them was Australian Nick Kyrgios, who retweeted Coric’s positive test announcement with the caption: “Wacky decision to go ahead with the quick-recovery guys from the ‘exhibit’, but that’s what happens when you ignore all protocols. This is NOT a Joke (sic). ”


A crowd of about 25,000 people flocked to the Belgrade derby on June 10, three days before the Djokovic tournament started. (Source: Reuters)

The breakup of Djokovic’s charity tournament comes after the Serb seemed to relax his stance from playing in the US Open. After describing the health protocols for the tournament starting August 31 as “extreme” and “impossible,” Djokovic said Friday that he was “extremely happy” about the proposed regulations.

This is the latest episode of what has been a memorable blockade for the President of the ATP Players Council. In April, during a video chat with other Serbian athletes, Djokovic said: “Personally, I am against vaccination and I do not want someone to force me to be vaccinated in order to travel. But if it becomes mandatory, what will happen? I will have to take a decision.

Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli urged Djokovic to “think about humanity and the rest of his teammates on the circuit.” There are times in life when certain personal convictions must be set aside for the common good of the community, “he said while former world No. 1 Andy Roddick said:” The bottom line is not whether or not he believes in vaccines. , it is safest to bring tennis to the forefront on a global stage. ”

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal added that if vaccinations become mandatory, “then Djokovic will have to be vaccinated if he wants to continue playing tennis at the highest level.” And although the support came in the form of Denis Istomin, who is ranked 156, who stated “I would not like someone to force me to be vaccinated in order to travel,” Djokovic backed off a bit from his position. “I keep an open mind and will continue to research this topic …” he said.

Spirituality about science

Djokovic’s brand of alternative medicine spirituality and advocacy “Live, Laugh, Love” has often clashed with sports science. (Source: USATODAY)

For a long time the epitome of fitness on the tennis tour, Djokovic’s brand of alternative medicine spirituality and advocacy “Live, Laugh, Love” has often clashed with sports science. Famous delayed elbow surgery and “cried for days” after going under the knife, feeling “as if I had failed myself.”

At the 2008 US Open, Roddick had teased Djokovic as a hypochondriac who suffered from “cramps, bird flu, anthrax, SARS, and the common cold and cough.”

Djokovic’s gluten intolerance was later diagnosed after a doctor placed a slice of white bread in his stomach. He believes in Telekineses and telepathy and hired a hug-loving trainer, Pepe Imaz, who taught levitation.

But he was criticized in May for allegedly supporting a product that claims to stimulate the growth of brain cells. Djokovic spent three live Instagram sessions with nutritionist Chervin Jafarieh, whose company sells herbal supplements that cost Rs 5,000 for 50g. The couple talked about how humans could change the molecular composition of food and water with their thoughts and emotions.

“I have seen people and I know some people who, through this energetic transformation, through the power of prayer, through the power of gratitude, manage to turn the most toxic food or the most contaminated water into the most healing … Because water reacts and scientists have shown that the molecules in water react to our emotions, to what is said, “said Djokovic while Jafarieh nodded.

Commentator-turned-player Mary Carillo was “disturbed” by the conversation, adding: “This is a dangerous thing and when I looked at it … it already had half a million views.”

Djokovic’s Instagram sessions came a month after his wife Jelena shared a video linking 5G technology to the Covid-19 outbreak. Jelena’s post, which was viewed more than 115,000 times, received a “false information” warning from Instagram.

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