Djokovic says he is unsure about playing at US Open
BELGRADE (SERBIA) – Novak Djokovic has levelled accusations at critics for subjecting him to a “witch-hunt” after the coronavirus fiasco in regional Adria Tour tennis event. He added that he was still uncertain whether he would play at the Aug. 31-Sept 13 US Open.
Images and videos of the players hugging at the net, playing basketball together and partying at the tournament were making rounds on social media.
World number one Djokovic, fellow Serb Viktor Troicki, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and Croatian Borna Coric all tested positive for the coronavirus, following which the event had to be called off.
Djokovic slammed his peers and pundits who said he was irresponsible to stage the event amid the pandemic.
He told Wednesday’s issue of Serbia’s daily Sportski Zurnal, “I can only see criticism lately and much of it is malicious.”
“It’s obviously more than just criticism, it’s like an agenda and a witch-hunt are on. Someone has to take the fall, a big name.”
Djokovic, who was back in training on Tuesday with Troicki, said, “I still haven’t decided whether I will play in the U.S. Open, the upsurge in registered COVID-19 cases in the United Staes and New York in particular are not playing into the event’s hands.”
Djokovic tested negative after he took the second test last week, added, “My intention was pure, I was whole-heartedly committed to organising a humanitarian event to help players and tennis federations in the (Balkan) region.”
The first leg in Belgrade held on June 13 and 14 had no social distancing rules in place and attracted a sell-out 4,000 crowd and as many fans turned up in Zadar’s Visnjik tennis complex with a capacity of 9,000 a week later.
Fans in Zadar were given strict orders by the Croatian government to stay two metres apart but the final, which was to feature Djokovic and Russian Andrey Rublev, was called off after Dimitrov tested positive for the virus.
The remaining two legs in Montenegro and Bosnia were shelved.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field.