Coronavirus: World No. 1 Novak Djokovic tests positive for Covid-19, joining 3 others from his tournament

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Novak Djokovic was not obliged to take the test in Croatia as he had no symptoms. PHOTO: REUTERS

BELGRADE (REUTERS, AFP) - Novak Djokovic, the men's world No. 1 tennis player, has tested positive for Covid-19, the Serb said in a statement on Tuesday (June 23).

His countryman Viktor Troicki, Croatia's Borna Coric and Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria had previously tested positive after playing in Djokovic's Adria Tour exhibition tournament in the Balkans region.

"Novak Djokovic tested positive for a virus Covid-19," read a statement from his staff. "He is not showing any symptoms," it added.

Djokovic said his wife Jelena also tested positive while the results of their children were negative.

"I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection," the 33-year-old Serb said in a statement.

"I hope that it will not complicate anyone's health situation and that everyone will be fine," the 17-time Grand Slam winner said, adding that he would go into self-isolation for the next 14 days.

Bulgaria's Dimitrov, the world No. 19, announced on Sunday he had tested positive after pulling out of the event, the biggest since the tennis season was halted because of the pandemic. Croatia's Coric and Troicki of Serbia also followed suit on Monday, revealing they also had tested positive.

The final in the Croatian coastal town of Zadar was cancelled on Sunday while the final stop in Bosnia, due in early July, has also been scrapped after the news of Djokovic's infection.

"Unfortunately, due to all events in the past days we decided that now the most important thing is that the epidemiological situation is stabilised and everyone recovers," tournament director Djordje Djokovic, the player's younger brother, said in a statement.

"Now we remain focused on the support to all those infected ... wishing that they recover as soon a possible."

Some 4,000 fans had watched the first leg of the tournament in Belgrade earlier this month, while a similar crowd attended the Zadar event.

"What was meant to be a major, nice tennis story ended with an even bigger collapse," Croatia's Sportske Novosti daily newspaper commented on Tuesday. "Damages could be immense, for both the health of many and (Croatia's) tourism."

Feliks Lukas, director of the WTA Croatia Bol Open, earlier warned against "incredibly bad" organisation in Zadar. Local media reported that social distancing measures were not respected by fans or players in Zadar, as was also the case in Belgrade.

The slew of positive tests raises questions over the sport's planned return in August.

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