Dimitrov, Coric test COVID-19 positive after Djokovic’s Adria tour

Croatia's Borna Coric was among about 1,000 people who were tested for the virus after Grigor Dimitrov announced that he tested positive after Novak Djokovic's Adria Tour

Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric, Novak Djokovic, coronavirus, COVID-19
(L-R) Dusan Lajovic, Viktor Troicki, Grigor Dimitrov, Filip Krajinovic, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Novak Djokovic, during exhibition event in Belgrade last week. Photo: Twitter

Croatian tennis player Borna Coric on Monday (June 22) said he has tested positive for the coronavirus after taking part in an exhibition event.

“I want to inform you that I am positive for COVID-19. Please everyone who has been in contact with me for the last few days gets tested!” the 33rd-ranked Coric tweeted, adding that he is feeling well and has no symptoms.

Coric was among about 1,000 people who were tested for the virus after Grigor Dimitrov announced that he tested positive, leading to the cancellation of an exhibition event in Croatia where top-ranked Novak Djokovic was due to play in the final.

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Coric played a match against Dimitrov in Zadar on Saturday in the second leg of the exhibition series.

Dimitrov, ranked No. 19 and a three-time Grand Slam semifinalist, is the highest-profile current player to say he has the virus.

Related news: No tours, no fees: Pandemic leaves idled tennis coaches in financial crisis

His announcement on Sunday (June 21) on his Instagram page comes at the end of a week when the U.S. Open said it would go forward.

The professional tennis tours have been suspended since March and are planning to resume in August.

Goran Ivanisevic, one of Djokovic’s coaches, said the news from Dimitrov was “shocking” and that “now everyone will have to be tested.”

Dimitrov said he was making his condition public because he wanted to “make sure anyone who has been in contact with me during these past days gets tested.”

“I am so sorry for any harm I might have caused,” he wrote.

The Bulgarian featured last week in the Serbia leg of the Adria Tour exhibition event organized by Djokovic.

There was criticism that there was no social distancing at the exhibition, which took place before packed stands in Belgrade, the Serbian capital.

The Serbian government lifted most virus restrictions last month despite dozens of new cases being registered.

Related news: Federer out of 2020 season after injury setback; Djokovic may skip US Open

Following the match against Coric, Dimitrov complained about fatigue. He said in his post that he was tested in Monaco.

Organizers said Sunday the exhibition has now been canceled. Djokovic had been scheduled to play Russia’s Andrey Rublev in the final.

Besides Djokovic, other leading players participated in the events, including Dominic Thiem in Belgrade and Alexander Zverev in both tournaments.

“We are really sorry, we tried our best to respect all measures, and we did respect all measures imposed by the governments of Serbia and Croatia,” said event director Djordje Djokovic, the younger brother of Novak Djokovic.

“From our side, we did all we could but Grigor is unfortunately positive. At this moment we are organizing all medical services to check all people who have been in contact with Grigor, they will all be tested. I already contacted all players of the Adria Tour, and their families, all of the volunteers, all people involved in organization absolutely none of them have any symptoms.”

He added: “Before he came to Zadar, Grigor was in his home country (Bulgaria), we dont know if he got the virus there. All of the people who had close contact with him here will be tested.”

Related news: COVID-19 lockdown frustrates Nadal; Federer happy with recovery

Novak Djokovic has initially struck a skeptical tone if he would play at the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13.

Some of the sports top names, including defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal along with top-ranked Ash Barty have expressed reservations about heading somewhere that was a hot spot for the COVID-19 outbreak. Others expressed an eagerness to return to action.

The U.S. Open normally is the fourth and final Grand Slam tournament of each season but would be the second major of 2020, following the Australian Open, which concluded in early February.

(With inputs from agencies)

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