Former tennis World No.1 Andy Murray said that Novak Djokovic’s Adria World Tour has given tennis a bad name for its lack of social distancing rules and the subsequent spurt of coronavirus cases that have come for those involved in it.
Murray himself returned to the tennis court on Tuesday, in an exhibition tournament in London with strict social distancing protocols in place.
“It’s not surprising how many people have tested positive after seeing some of the images of the players’ party and the kids’ day. There was no social distancing in place,” he said after his match.
“I don’t think it (Adria Tour) has been a great look for tennis. Coronavirus doesn’t care about who we are or what we do. We need to respect it and respect the rules,” he said.
Djokovic and the rest of the organisers have come under significant criticism for the way in which the tournament was conducted. Scheduled to be held accross Baltic nations, the first day in Belgrade saw sellout crowds. There were also videos of players partying during the tournament.
Among the players infected include Djokovic himself, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki.
In a statement that he posted on his social media handles, Djokovic apologised for the way the tournament was conducted.
“I am so deeply sorry our tournament has caused harm. Everything the organisers and I did the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions,” the World No.1 said.
“We believed the tournament met all health protocols and the health of our region seemed in good condition to finally unite people for philanthropic reasons. We were wrong and it was too soon. I can’t express enough how sorry I am for this and every case of infection,” he added.