Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic launched a passionate defense of compatriot and World No.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic after the latter was criticised heavily following the Adria Open fiasco.
Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Victor Troicki all tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the Belgrade leg of the exhibition event recently.
Djokovic’s wife had also been diagnosed with COVID-19 and also NBA star Nikola Jokic, who attended the event in the capital city of Serbia.
Matic, however, came to the aid of under-fire Djokovic and stated everything was going normally in Serbia and it wasn’t Djokovic’s fault that so many people ended up contracting the virus.
“People need to understand that the situation in Serbia was better than here. The country allowed everyone to do whatever they want, everything was open, the shopping centres and the restaurants,” Matic told Sky Sports.
“So they started to live normal lives because our country was closed for three months completely. You were not allowed to walk on the street, you couldn’t leave your home, so it was different than [England].
“But when they opened they said ‘you are more than free to do whatever you want’. Before that tournament, there was a game with 20,000 people and nobody said anything about that.
“I just wanted to say that it is not his fault that he made the tournament. He just wanted to help the players play competitions. I don’t see that he [did] something wrong.”
Following the news that Djokovic and his wife have contracted the virus, the remainder of the tournament was cancelled. Djokovic had also issued a statement, apologising to everyone who had participated in the event.