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Novak Djokovic tests positive for coronavirus

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/23/2020 By DUSAN STOJANOVIC, Associated Press
FILE - In this Nov. 22, 2019, file photo, Serbia's Novak Djokovic, left, and teammate Viktor Troicki play against Russia's Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev during the Davis Cup quarterfinal doubles match in Madrid, Spain. Another tennis player has tested positive for the coronavirus after taking part in an exhibition series organized by Novak Djokovic in Serbia and Croatia.
Viktor Troicki said Tuesday, June 23, 2020, that he and his pregnant wife have both been diagnosed with the virus. The former top-20 player from Serbia played against Djokovic in Belgrade during the first part of the two-leg tour.(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 22, 2019, file photo, Serbia's Novak Djokovic, left, and teammate Viktor Troicki play against Russia's Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev during the Davis Cup quarterfinal doubles match in Madrid, Spain. Another tennis player has tested positive for the coronavirus after taking part in an exhibition series organized by Novak Djokovic in Serbia and Croatia. Viktor Troicki said Tuesday, June 23, 2020, that he and his pregnant wife have both been diagnosed with the virus. The former top-20 player from Serbia played against Djokovic in Belgrade during the first part of the two-leg tour.(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Novak Djokovic tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday after taking part in a tennis exhibition series he organized in Serbia and Croatia.

The top-ranked Serb is the fourth player to test positive for the virus after first playing in Belgrade and then again last weekend in Zadar, Croatia. His wife also tested positive.

“The moment we arrived in Belgrade we went to be tested. My result is positive, just as Jelena’s, while the results of our children are negative," Djokovic said in a statement.

Djokovic has been criticized for organizing the tournament and bringing in players from other countries amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Viktor Troicki said Tuesday that he and his pregnant wife have both been diagnosed with the virus, while Grigor Dimitrov, a three-time Grand Slam semifinalist from Bulgaria, said Sunday he tested positive. Borna Coric played Dimitrov on Saturday in Zadar and said Monday he has also tested positive.

In this photo taken on Sunday, June 14, 2020, Serbia's Novak Djokovic, centre, poses with volunteers and players after the Adria Tour charity tournament in Belgrade, Serbia. Djokovic’s charity tennis exhibition series combined with an overall softening of coronavirus restrictions in Serbia has led to a spike in the number the positive cases among professional athletes. Two tennis players ranked among the top 40 in the world and five players at Serbia’s biggest soccer club have tested positive for the virus after being involved in sporting events where fans packed into the stands and social distancing was not enforced. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) © Provided by Associated Press In this photo taken on Sunday, June 14, 2020, Serbia's Novak Djokovic, centre, poses with volunteers and players after the Adria Tour charity tournament in Belgrade, Serbia. Djokovic’s charity tennis exhibition series combined with an overall softening of coronavirus restrictions in Serbia has led to a spike in the number the positive cases among professional athletes. Two tennis players ranked among the top 40 in the world and five players at Serbia’s biggest soccer club have tested positive for the virus after being involved in sporting events where fans packed into the stands and social distancing was not enforced. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

There were no social distancing measures observed at the matches in either country.

Serbia's Viktor Troicki returns the ball to Serbia's Novak Djokovic during their match of the Adria Tour charity tournament in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, June 13, 2020. Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic set up a series of tennis tournaments in the Balkan region while the sport is suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic.(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) © Provided by Associated Press Serbia's Viktor Troicki returns the ball to Serbia's Novak Djokovic during their match of the Adria Tour charity tournament in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, June 13, 2020. Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic set up a series of tennis tournaments in the Balkan region while the sport is suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic.(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

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

Djokovic, who has previously said he was against taking a vaccine for the virus even if it became mandatory to travel, was the face behind the Adria Tour, a series of exhibition events that started in the Serbian capital and then moved to Zadar.

He left Croatia after the final was canceled and was tested in Belgrade.

Despite the positive test, he defended the exhibition series.

“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,” Djokovic said. "We organized the tournament at the moment when the virus has weakened, believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met.

In this photo taken on Sunday, June 14, 2020, Serbia's Novak Djokovic, centre, poses with volunteers and players after the Adria Tour charity tournament in Belgrade, Serbia. Djokovic’s charity tennis exhibition series combined with an overall softening of coronavirus restrictions in Serbia has led to a spike in the number the positive cases among professional athletes. Two tennis players ranked among the top 40 in the world and five players at Serbia’s biggest soccer club have tested positive for the virus after being involved in sporting events where fans packed into the stands and social distancing was not enforced. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) © Provided by Associated Press In this photo taken on Sunday, June 14, 2020, Serbia's Novak Djokovic, centre, poses with volunteers and players after the Adria Tour charity tournament in Belgrade, Serbia. Djokovic’s charity tennis exhibition series combined with an overall softening of coronavirus restrictions in Serbia has led to a spike in the number the positive cases among professional athletes. Two tennis players ranked among the top 40 in the world and five players at Serbia’s biggest soccer club have tested positive for the virus after being involved in sporting events where fans packed into the stands and social distancing was not enforced. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

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

Djokovic said he will remain in self-isolation for 14 days and also apologized to anyone who became infected as a result of the series.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


Video: Two positive virus tests at Djokovic event (Reuters)

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