Guido Pella: 'Novak Djokovic disrespects world of tennis and entire planet'

Tennis - Djokovic's Adria Tour had to be canceled after three players were tested positive in Zadar, including Djokovic himself

by Jovica Ilic
Guido Pella: 'Novak Djokovic disrespects world of tennis and entire planet'

On Tuesday, world no. 1 Novak Djokovic announced he is positive for the coronavirus, canceling the rest of the Adria Tour and spending the quarantine time at home with his wife (who is also positive) and kids. Gathering the names like Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov to Belgrade and Zadar, Djokovic had organized one of the most energetic events since the beginning of March, offering a chance for the crowd in Serbia and Croatia to enjoy in exciting matches and spend time with the players outside the court.

Without strict health measures and social distancing, Novak and the rest of the field played football in Belgrade and went out to disco during the night, competing without masks and allowing packed crowd with no distance between them.

In Zadar, they were on the basketball court against the local club, spending time with kids on the public forum and playing in front of the spectators, just like in Belgrade. Everything seemed fine for both players and the crowd until Sunday when Grigor Dimitrov announced he is positive for the coronavirus, followed by his coach and Borna Coric.

The final between Novak Djokovic and Andrey Rublev was canceled, like the entire Tour, with some players taking quick tests in Zadar that were mostly negative.

Djokovic wasn't among them, though, traveling back home to Serbia and taking tests on Monday with the rest of his family.

On Tuesday, Novak revealed he and his wife Jelena were both positive for the coronavirus, feeling fine and staying at home for the next couple of weeks. After everything that had happened in Belgrade and Zadar, almost the entire tennis world threw an avalanche on Djokovic, calling him irresponsible and fearing about the season restart in August after the latest setbacks with the pandemic.

World no. 35 Guido Pella is among them, saying Djokovic had played with many people's health and had disrespected both the world of tennis and the entire planet. At the moment, Pella is yet to decide wheater to travel to the States and compete at the US Open or not, aksing who would treat him if he catches the virus and where.

"Beyond Djokovic's intentions, it is not right to organize the tournament while the world suffers from the pandemic," Pella said. "He played with many people's health and crossed a line from which it will be challenging to return, disrespecting the world of tennis and the entire planet.

The leaked videos of him dancing without shirt in a disco do not help at all. I don't know how he's going to get out of this. We have to see if the circuit would come back after this. It will be tough not to catch the virus at the US Open.

If I go to New York and get it, who will treat me and take over? Is it worth taking the risk? I do not know what to do. If I decide not to go, I have to think about hanging the racket. There are many open questions. I want and need to work; I don't have Novak Djokovic's bank account but I am not going to risk my physical integrity or for all the money in the world. I prefer to be healthy than to get infected and spend 60 days in a hospital."

Guido Pella Novak Djokovic