Novak Djokovic's Parents Blame Grigor Dimitrov for Spreading COVID-19

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 24, 2020

This photograph taken on June 18, 2020, shows (L/R):Croatia's Borna Coric, Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov, Serbia's Novak Djokovic and Germany's Alexander Zverev, tennis players as they pose for a group photograph ahead of an exhibition basketball match in Zadar. - Croatia's Borna Coric announced on June 22, 2020, that he has become the second player to test positive for coronavirus after taking part in an exhibition tournament in Croatia featuring world number one Novak Djokovic.
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The parents of tennis superstar Novak Djokovic are blaming fellow ATP Tour player Grigor Dimitrov for spreading COVID-19 during their son's Adria Tour exhibition tournament.

Djokovic, who was criticized for the event's lax enforcement of coronavirus safety measures, announced Tuesday he'd tested positive for COVID-19. His parents blamed Dimitrov, who confirmed his positive diagnosis Monday, for spreading the disease, per Dusan Stojanovic of the Associated Press.

"Why did it happen? Because that man probably came sick, who knows from where," his father, Srdjan, told RTL Croatia TV. "He didn't test here, he tested somewhere else ... I think that's not fair. He inflicted damage to both Croatia and to us as a family in Serbia. Nobody is feeling well because of this situation."

His mother, Dijana, told the Belgrade Blic: "It is horrible what is being written, but we are used to it."

The tournament took place at sites in Serbia and Croatia. Photos from the event showed the players taking part in close-contact activities, including a basketball game, and spectators packed a stadium for a match between Djokovic and Borna Coric with few protective face coverings in sight.

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Djokovic's statement Tuesday, which noted his wife Jelena also tested positive for COVID-19, explained the event was held with "pure heart and sincere intentions:"

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

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

Dimitrov apologized for any role he played in spreading the virus after finding out he'd tested positive after returning to Monaco.

"I want to reach out and let my fans and friends know that I tested positive back in Monaco for COVID-19," he said. "I want to make sure anyone who has been in contact with me during these past days gets tested and takes the necessary precautions. I am so sorry for any harm I might have caused. I am back home now and recovering. Thanks for your support and please stay safe and healthy."

Coric and Viktor Troicki have also tested positive after playing in the tournament.

The ATP Tour is scheduled to resume play Aug. 14 with the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. It's one of two warm-up events before the US Open, which is scheduled for Aug. 31.

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