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Tennis fiasco: A week to forget for Novak Djokovic

June 27, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The Adria Tour organized by world No. 1 Novak Djokovic ended in chaos after four players, including the 17-time major winner, tested positive for Covid-19.

Instead, the top-ranked Serb is involved in a damage limitation exercise after his exhibition tour in the Balkans, intended to be an uplifting moment during the sport's hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, was cancelled when Djokovic, his wife Jelena, three other players, three coaches and one player's pregnant wife tested positive for the virus.

Unlike other exhibition events during the pandemic, there was limited social distancing on the Adria Tour, which was played to crowded stadiums, with players hugging and high-fiving each other, playing basketball and dancing together.

When Djokovic announced in May he would host the Adria Tour, it seemed like tennis was slowly emerging from the shutdown, which had led to the first cancellation of Wimbledon since World War II.

READ: Djokovic tests positive for coronavirus

Also during that weekend, players including Djokovic, Thiem, Zverev and Dimitrov were filmed dancing in a packed Belgrade nightclub.

Speaking at the ceremonial opening of the Adria Tour the day before his match against Troicki, Djokovic defended the limited social distancing of the crowd.

Troicki revealed he had tested positive soon after and then, on Tuesday, Djokovic confirmed that he, too, and his wife, Jelena, had done the same.

Britain's Andy Murray said that after seeing some of the pictures of the post-event party in Belgrade and of kids' day it was "not surprising how many people had tested positive. "

Djokovic, who went from Zadar to Belgrade before being tested, said he was "deeply sorry our tournament had caused harm. " Stressing that everything had been done with good intentions, he said he had believed the tournament met all the protocols but that "we were wrong and it was too soon. "

"He caused major harm to you in Croatia, to us as a family and to us as Serbia," Djokovic's father added, continuing to point the finger at Dimitrov.

Shortly before the start of the Adria Tour, Djokovic, who is also president of the player council of the men's ATP Tour, angered some players by suggesting he may not take part in the US Open in New York at the end of August because organizers said they wanted to limit player entourages to just one extra person.

But Crow, who has worked with some of the world's biggest companies, doesn't think the collapse of the Adria Tour has damaged Djokovic's personal brand.

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