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Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric Test Positive For Covid-19 At Charity Tennis Event In Croatia

Dimitrov tested positive on Sunday, after participation at the Adria Tour event in Belgrade. Dimitrov’s opponent Coric also received a positive test earlier today. The event, organised by Novak Djokovic, has been at the brunt of criticism for not following safety guidelines, social distancing protocols and allowing large crowds into stadiums.
Dimitrov, the highest-profile player to have contracted the virus announced his result at the end of a week when the US Open announced its opening dates. (Picture courtesy: Grigor Dimitrov/Twitter)

Dimitrov, the highest-profile player to have contracted the virus announced his result at the end of a week when the US Open announced its opening dates. (Picture courtesy: Grigor Dimitrov/Twitter)

A day after Grigor Dimitrov revealed in an Instagram post that he has tested positive for coronavirus World No. 33 Borna Coric revealed has also tested positive earlier today. Both of them were part of the second leg of the Adria Tour in Croatia last week. 

“Hi Everyone, I want to inform you all that I tested positive for Covid-19. I want to make sure anyone who has been in contact with me during the last two days gets tested. I am really sorry for any harm I might have caused! I am feeling well and don’t have any symptoms. Please stay safe and healthy! Lots of love to all,” Borna Coric said in a statement on Twitter. 

Numerous top tennis players -- Dimitrov and Coric among them -- were flown out to the Balkans for the tour organised by Djokovic in lieu of cancelled ATP and WTA sanctioned events. The opening leg in Belgrade last week had already received criticism after being held in front of packed crowds, with players hugging, shaking hands and mostly disregarding social distancing norms. Their actions though were in accordance with Serbia’s relaxing of restrictions. 

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At the time responding to the criticism, Djokovic had been dismissive. “I know there has been some criticism, especially from the West,” he said on Eurosport’s Tennis Legends podcast. “Why do we have viewers there? Why is there no social distancing? Why is this kind of event taking place while there is a serious pandemic in the West? It is not easy to explain to people that the situation in the United States or Great Britain is completely different from that in Serbia or the surrounding countries. We followed the rules and measures laid down by the government and public health institutions from day one. We didn’t cross the line. We went through all these processes, and the overall result was fantastic.”

Australian Tennis Player, Nick Kygios -- an ardent critic of the decision -- did not hold back on the ‘boneheaded decision’ to hold the tournament without any precautions or protocols after learning that Borna Coric also tested positive for the virus. 

“Boneheaded decision to go ahead with the ‘exhibition’ speedy recovery fellas, but that’s what happens when you disregard all protocols. This IS NOT A JOKE,” Kygios said on Twitter.

Dimitrov is the highest-profile current player to say he has the virus. His announcement Sunday on his Instagram page comes at the end of a week when the US Open said it would go forward. Kyrgios has also been at the forefront of criticising the decision to stage the event, calling the point out the selfishness of the organisers. The Bulgarian reportedly pulled out of the two-day event citing illness in Zadar after losing 4-1, 4-1 to Coric on Saturday.

“I want to reach out and let my fans and friends know that I tested positive back in Monaco for Covid-19,” Dimitrov said in an instagram post. “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.”

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Dimitrov played in the second leg of the tournament in Zadar and lost 4-1, 4-1 to world no 33 Borna Coric on Saturday and withdrew himself from the tournament stating he was feeling really unwell. 

The Adria Series organizers decided to cancel the final between Djokovic and Russia’s Andrey Rublev scheduled to take place not too long after Dimitrov announced his positive Covid-19 test.  

“This is the best possible decision. We have to take care about the security of all involved,” former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, the tournament director of the Zadar event, was  quoted by local media. “Those who were in contact with Grigor will be tested. I tested by chance three days ago and I’m negative,” he added. 

The third leg of the  Adria Tournament is scheduled to be held in Montenegro on June 27-28, followed by the final leg on July 3-4 at Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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