Top-ranked tennis star Novak Djokovic tests positive for the coronavirus

Djokovic has been criticized for organizing a tournament and bringing in players from other countries amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Adria Tour Tennis
Novak Djokovic during the Adria Tour charity exhibition on June 13, 2020 in Belgrade, Serbia.Srdjan Stevanovic / Getty Images

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By Minyvonne Burke and The Associated Press

Top-ranked tennis star Novak Djokovic tested positive for the coronavirus after he took part in an exhibition series he organized in Serbia and Croatia.

The Serbian player said in a statement Tuesday that he is asymptomatic and that his family was also tested for the virus. His wife, Jelena Djokovic, tested positive for the virus while their children's tests were negative.

He is the fourth player to test positive after first playing in the Adria Tour in Belgrade, Serbia and then again last weekend in Zadar, Croatia.

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

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

He said he put the series together when it was believed that the spread of the virus was slowing.

"Unfortunately, this virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope and live with," he said. "I am hoping things will ease with time so we can all resume lives the way they were."

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.

Organizers of the Adria Tour said the third stage of the event, scheduled to held next week in Bosnia, has been canceled.

"We were looking forward to promoting sports and providing financial support to local players, as well as to the audience finally seeing Novak Djokovic and other tennis players live, after many years of waiting," said the Adria Tour director, Djordje Djokovic, in an Instagram statement Tuesday.

"Unfortunately, due to all the events that happened in the last few days, we have decided that the most important thing right now is to stabilize the epidemiological situation, as well as for everyone to recover."

Serbian tennis player Viktor Troicki also said Tuesday that he and his pregnant wife, Aleksandra Troicki, tested positive for the coronavirus. Grigor Dimitrov, from Bulgaria, announced he also tested positive.

"I want to make sure anyone who has been in contact with me during these past days gets tested and takes the necessary precautions," Dimitrov wrote in an Instagram post. "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."

Borna Coric played against Dimitrov on Saturday in Zadar and said Monday he has also tested positive. The Croatian athlete said on Instagram that he is not showing symptoms.

There were no social distancing measures observed at the matches in either country where the exhibition was played, and Djokovic and other players were seen hugging each other and partying in night clubs and restaurants after the matches.