You know things are bad when Nick Kyrgios is taking shots at you and he’s right!
Novak Djokovic’s ill-fated Adria exo tour imploded over the weekend with three players testing positive for the Coronavirus. The final yesterday between Djokovic and Andrey Rublev in Zadar, Croatia, was called off just hours before the start after participant Grigor Dimitrov dropped a bombshell that he had tested positive for the virus.
Djokovic left town without getting tested, but he was tested today in Belgrade with results due Tuesday. However, Borna Coric, who played Dimitrov on Saturday in Croatia, also confirmed a positive test as did one of Novak’s good friend Viktor Troicki and one of his trainers.
Alexander Zverev and Marin Cilic both released statements that they were negative. Another headliner on the 4-week “Tour” Dominic Thiem was negative, but he’s now in France for the UTS.
Djokovic’s problem here is he put together this tour with total disregard for the virus. Their stands were packed with fans, players were hugging, high-fivin’, there was a player party, handshakes after matches, sponsor and charity events, etc.
From the outside, it looked like a normal event. Except these are not normal times.
Obviously, Dimitrov, Coric and Troicki only have themselves to blame for taking part in the event, but as someone who is the president of the ATP player council, Djokovic has got to know better. He didn’t. And this hurts tennis and it’s not over yet — more positives could come, including Djokovic’s results.
This news hasn’t been lost on his fellow players who were not amused.
Kyrgios, who rarely gets anything right, called out Djokovic and the tour.
“Boneheaded decision to go ahead with the ‘exhibition’ speedy recovery fellas, but that’s what happens when you disregard all protocols. This IS NOT A JOKE,” he tweeted.
Congratulations. Such leadership 🤦🏽♂️ https://t.co/rHWpMC7tqD
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) June 22, 2020
Dan Evans, who did a year for cocaine, also took a shot at the Serb.
“I don’t think you should be having a players’ party and dancing all over each other and then two very good players test positive. He should feel some responsibility for his event and how it has transpired,” Evans told the Guardian ahead of the British exo.
“It is a poor example to set, even if the guidelines in that country are not two metres. It is not a joke is it? There has been a total disregard for that. It is very unfortunate that Grigor has it, Coric has it. But, if you strip it back, is it a surprise? That is the question we should all ask. I hope there is no second-guessing now on the US Open because of [these] unfortunate events.”
Another ATP player, Bruno Soares, raised the issue of his presidency.
Bruno Soares, member of the ATP Players’ Council, about Novak Djokovic/Adria Tour: “It was a horror show (…) It is embarrassing for him because he (Djokovic) is the president (of the Council) and his speech goes against everything he showed in that event” https://t.co/XRhANfoH8N
— Break Point (@BreakPointBR) June 22, 2020
So while Djokovic fought for the lesser players to earn some bucks during this pandemic, he put those on his tour at risk. And now we wait to see what he says and how tennis moves on from this.
We still have over two months before the US Open begins. That’s a long time. Unfortunately, that’s also a lot of time for more bonehead decisions to be made.
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