Kyrgios Calls Djokovic’s Tour Boneheaded…And He’s Right!
by Sean Randall | June 22nd, 2020, 4:35 pm

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.


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.

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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15 Comments for Kyrgios Calls Djokovic’s Tour Boneheaded…And He’s Right!

chrisford1 Says:

Djokovic put those on tour at risk????
Of what – a “positive test”????
Come on Sean, the world is opening back up because we have to. There will be positive tests right and left as businesses, schools open. Gobs and gobs of positive tests that shouldn’t affect kids or parents in even a moderate risk way.
But if granny is in a house with school kids – time to move her to a safer place. On the fans, Serbia, like Sweden, did not emphasize social distancing – so the fans have been attending basketball and football games in crowds, as well as tennis.

skeezer Says:

Sure he put others at risk. The players got it, they didn’t have to, now exposed others who may be at risk, so Wtf? I highly doubt these players who played wanted to get it, and as result put others and loved ones at risk. Most of there tweets are apologetic in that regards. Obviously the players party was not a necessary event. It is not the opening back up a question, it is how, and this was not it.

Wog Boy Says:

Sean, what gives you the right to lecture the country that does 10 (ten) times better than your country in handling this BS virus to lecture them what to do and how to behave?! Stick to youR country, or you want Serbia to be bombed because they are not following your guidelines but yet doing better than you.
Not that they are doing better than America but better than every single Western Europe country and guess what, Serbia is not best in the region, Hungary, Croatia, Greece, Bulgaria are doing even better.
Guess what, Greece borders are open and Serbians are going on holidays down south, are you going to request bombing of Serbia for that?
Besides, nobody twisted the arms of Thiem, Zverev, Dimitrov to come to Serbia nor they were paid, It was charity event, they came out of their own will and they all nominated their charity where the money had to be sent.
One more thing, Dimitrov arrived from America.
You couldn’t wait to rubbish Nole and you quoted who, one irrelevant junky and one m.o.r.o.n that even is not popular in his own country.
Good job Sean👏😘

skeezer Says:

And now Djoker has COVID. Geez.

Anto Says:

@wogboy are you this blinded by fanboism?

the_mind_reels Says:

I’m not defending Sean, but I’m pretty sure the word “Serbia” doesn’t appear anywhere in this article. Not sure why there’s discussion of bombing (?). At least Novak’s kids were spared infection from their parents, so…I guess that’s one positive takeaway from this.

Countries have and will continue to take different approaches in containing COVID, but for people like professional tennis players, it is overwhelmingly a function of their own actions that will govern the odds of whether they get infected or not. I can’t comment on Dimitrov’s whereabouts in the United States, but it seems just as silly to blame the U.S. for his infection (or any other country) rather than Grigor himself. Maybe he shouldn’t have taken a long-haul international flight either?

chrisford1 Says:

Restarting global life in the 1st World after lockdown is an imperative, even if it comes with risk.
This message needs to be hammered into the “no risk, ever!” people. Governments don’t have the money to keep half their population on the unemployment dole indefinitely. People don’t have the money to stay job-free for years until the “holy vaccine” may be available.
This, like flu, is a disease with low casualty numbers. It will continue to spread over the Earth. Then come back in waves.
The major at-risk population elderly, and those middle age and younger with co-morbidity factors like autoimmune disorders.
Not kids and healthy young adults.
Get used to a slew of positive tests as the world is forced to resume normal operations. Wait until school starts unless you are one that argues that public schools must be shut down for years “so as not to risk a positive test”. Even if a positive test means only 1 in 30 actually gets sick enough to see a doctor.(and almost all the truly sick are old/have co-morbidities).
Does anyone think the players, their families (not grandparents) are in significant danger? Anyone have any great fear that Troiki, Dimitrov, Djokovic will soon be in a hospital?
I hope I test positive! I hope our young family members test positive. That means if it is so, international travel will be easier for us. And I don’t have to worry about getting it when I’m older and each positive case builds herd immunity.

Wog Boy Says:

Anto, are you that blind that you don’t realise that this has nothing to with fanboism, but defending the right of one country to implement its own rules and guidelines in how to combat situation.
This wasn’t ATP sanctioned tournament, it was private tournament by invitation following the rules and regulations of the host countries (Serbia and Croatia), no rules were broken at any given moment, including clubbing in licenced premises.
No player was forced to come to play and later socialise, they are all adults capable of making their own decisions.
I don’t know where you live but you are entitled on whatever rules your country want to implement so are the other countries and it’s very ignorant of you to lecture other countries and expect that they have to share your opinion.
Tell me your country and I will give you the stats, but if you are from one of Western European countries I can tell now that both, Serbia and Croatia are doing better in this situation.
It’s 9th day since final day and 13 since first day Belgrade, no one case of infection between fan so far was registered, which proves that it was justified to have the tournament at the first place.
As for the player/s infected (since the virus was brought in by the player) who guarantees that won’t happen when ATP restarts in August, you can be negative in the morning and positive in the evening and the tests are not 100% reliable (it’s proven), using your logic it’s stupid and irresponsible to restart ATP tour, no?
Let’s all just lay down and die.

dryeagle Says:

Get well Novak and other players. You have nothing to apologize or be ashamed of. F Sean and Kyrgios!

Django Says:

Serbia has 250 deaths.

skeezer Says:

Question for a friend: And where are all these infected players, coaches and families traveling home to? Also wondering why there wasn’t temperature checks before and during the tourney….

Tennis is open in our area. But everyone plays by the strict rules. Masks entering and exiting the area, 6 ft apart, hand sanitizer at change overs, no chest bumps, handshakes, hugs. Simple stuff. The Guys will then travel to someone’s outside driveway, set up chairs 6ft apart and do the usual tennis trash talk and a few beers. All good. No one has gotten sick.

chrisford1 Says:

Skeezer –
I think people that caught it but are asymptomatic or had a sneeze bout and that was it one day, run no abnormal temperature. Not a very good tests, but officials in several nations use them because they don’t have a good “you’ve got it/you’ve had it and never knew it” tests accessible to them, so they give the temp test as better than nothing.
Your area’s precautions are understandable. But most are probably not necessary. Only one case has been documented as happening outdoors , save at packed block parties and riots where people are crammed close. The 1 case was in Taiwan, two cousins unexpectedly ran into each other on a sidewalk, shook hands and talked for a few minutes. One did have symptoms – thought it was a cold – and they tested all his contacts when he went to the doctor a day later and tested positive
None of his contacts tested positive save the cousin.
Nothing really happening outdoors, while 2/3rds of the cases of people hospitalized for Wuhan virus in NYC were bewildered, because they bunkered in, saw no visitors, had others deliver groceries, still got nailed. Authorities just failed to think through how packed slum tenements with recirculated air to save on heat – functioned as giant cruise ships.
I don’t know if the Wuhan virus can be transmissible through sweat pores, but if it is, the two or 4 players on the court are handling the same balls until changeover. Sanitizing on changeover doesn’t seem to accomplish much if you go back to the same balls. I personally don’t think washing hands is of much use in stopping Wuhan virus, as it is an airborne disease, not cholera or some other grave epidemic where the handing of food and water with contaminated hands, containers is critically important. It doesn’t hurt to wash hands though, people should do it as good hygiene – but it is almost a non-factor in stopping CV-19.
I’m a huge believer in masks, good N95 or above masks. And minimizing stay time indoors with other people. And before the 2nd Wave, we need to focus on getting good masks for everyone vulnerable.And focus on fixing design problems with packed apartment complexes with common areas lacking HEPA filters. And the same with mass transit, air travel, schools.
And most importantly, I think masks add herd immunity to those immune from having had the Wuhan virus. Get enough people with a combination of both, even either- above 60%, and Wuhan dies out because reproduction factor (R) falls below 1.

the_mind_reels Says:

@skeezer: I left the US last year for an “extended” stay in Europe — we’ll see how long I’m here — but where I am in the Netherlands, tennis has now been open for a few weeks as well with similar measures. Indoor facilities have been closed but will re-open starting July 1; outdoors, they’ve only recently allowed doubles to start again. Similar to what you said, people are respecting the rules and finding (relatively easy) ways to still enjoy the sport that we all love.

Madmax Says:

Embarrassing to say the very least. Look at the image. Not one person wearing a face mask. Not one. Rules and regulations followed?

Don’t play tennis in these times. It was a crazy decision by Novak – but the person that he is, he has already apologised and so, moving on – this was bound to happen. Private tournament or not Sean, it was the wrong decision in the current climate, especially with all of the advice in terms of a) travelling, b) sanitisation, c) mixing with others, a gathering of more than 50, come on.

The Serbian has faced severe criticism after fellow tennis players Grigor Dimitrov, Viktor Troicki and Borna Coric tested positive for Covid-19.

The most recent tournament’s final in the Croatian city of Zadar was cancelled and now the world No 1 has released a statement apologising for the consequences of the tournament, while also confirming both he and his wife have returned positive test.

Djokovic said: “Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. Our tournament meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region.

“We organised the tournament at the moment when the virus has weakened, believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met.

“I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection. I hope that it will not complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine.”

After returning to Belgrade, Djokovic and his family took tests, his wife Jelena testing positive.

“The moment we arrived in Belgrade we went to be tested,” Djokovic added.

“My result is positive, just as Jelena’s, while the results of our children are negative.”

“I will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days, and repeat the test in five days.

“The Tour has been designed to help both established and up and coming tennis players from South-Eastern Europe to gain access to some competitive tennis while the various tours are on hold due to the Covid-19 situation.

“It was all born with a philanthropic idea, to direct all raised funds towards people in need and it warmed my heart to see how everybody strongly responded to this.

“Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope and live with.

“I am hoping things will ease with time so we can all resume lives the way they were.”

Novak has paid the price, and is human, but it was a bad decision, no matter the intention.

Be sensible in these times. Goran is even standing way too close to his compatriot.

Let’s be sensible.

Dantheman Says:

When Kyrgios becomes the voice of reason, you know you have fallen badly… Djokovic owes a lot of sorries for how he has behaved during this pandemic. It’s pretty clear with his anti-vaxx attitude, how he broke the lockdown rules in Spain before this, and his belief in magical cures show he thinks he knows more than he clearly does about science/health based issues.
His credibility is zero right now, and his actions have risked lives of people either directly or indirectly by allowing this to spread unnecessarily.

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