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Djokovic's father blames Dimitrov for Covid-19 spread on Adria Tour


Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov. Photo: Marko Djurica/Reuters

Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov. Photo: Marko Djurica/Reuters


Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov. Photo: Marko Djurica/Reuters

The alarming outbreak of Covid-19 at Novak Djokovic's Adria Tour has now been followed by a finger-pointing exchange between Djokovic's father, Srdjan, and Grigor Dimitrov's agent over where the infection might have originated.

When Srdjan Djokovic accused Dimitrov of being the source, agent Georgi Stoimenov suggested that the tournament organisers were "the ones responsible for the safe running of the event". Nick Kyrgios, the most vocal locker-room critic of the Adria Tour, also had his say.

Writing on Twitter, Kyrgios posted an image of Srdjan Djokovic accompanied by his quotes on Dimitrov and said: "Nah bruh, don't push the blame."

In an interview with a Croatian broadcast channel, Srdjan Djokovic said: "Why did it all happen? It happened because the man (Dimitrov) came sick from who knows where. He did not get tested here, and he was tested elsewhere."

According to Srdjan Djokovic, Dimitrov could have been what epidemiologists call a "superspreader", having flown to Belgrade for the start of the Adria Tour on June 13.

This was hardly the only possible explanation, given the intermingling of athletes from other sports with the tennis players. Nikola Jankovic was one of several basketball players who tested positive after a derby match between Red Star and Partizan, which Djokovic attended on June 10.

Another positive test was confirmed yesterday involving Serbian basketball player Nikola Jokic. The Denver Nuggets star has now been forced to delay his return to the United States. According to reports, Jokic spent time with Djokovic at the Belgrade leg of the Adria Tour.

Dimitrov, the world No 19, is understood to have remained in California between the cancellation of Indian Wells on March 8 and his flight to Belgrade. He made a brief visit to his home town of Haskovo in Bulgaria between the Belgrade and Zadar legs of the Adria Tour.

Four players - Dimitrov, Djokovic, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki - have tested positive, along with two coaches and Djokovic's wife, Jelena.

Dimitrov does not seem to have been completely asymptomatic, at least by the end of his time in Zadar. He was clearly under the weather by the end of Saturday's match with Coric, which he lost comfortably. He did not shake hands, even though that had been normal practice throughout the Adria Tour.

Irish Independent