Wimbledon chief Richard Lewis has refused to directly criticize world No. 1 Novak Djokovic but he thinks the scenes seen at the Adria Tour were disappointing. A total of four players who participated at the Adria Tour -- including the event founder Djokovic -- tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Adria Tour featured packed crowds, players shook hands, hugged and played contact sports such as football and basketball. "Yes, the first thing I’d say is that we wish everyone a speedy recovery, because there’s been quite a few people infected," Lewis told Metro UK.
"The images were disappointing and I think that, for the benefit of international tennis now, what needs to come out of it is everybody involved – not just players, but administrators, organisers, entourages – everybody needs to understand that the protocols, rules and regulations around Covid-19 are in place in international tournaments for a reason."
The season is set to resume in August and Lewis hopes at least the Adria Tour will serve as a lesson and help international tournaments once the season resumes. On April 1, Wimbledon got called off for the first time since 1945, but the US Open and French Open are still scheduled to take place this year.
"And that’s a really important lesson to learn. I would hope from an organisers’ point of view – let’s say the US Open and Roland Garros, but also the other international tournaments – that protocols will be easier to enforce and observed than they otherwise might have been.
It was an unfortunate situation," Lewis said.
Richard Lewis underlines Djokovic has to show leadership and responsibility given his position
Djokovic, ranked at No. 1 in the world, is also the president of the ATP Player Council.
Djokovic has been receiving a lot of criticism over the last few days and some have called for him to be sacked from his position on the ATP Player Council. "think it’s a fact in this day and age that all sportsmen and sportswomen have a leadership role that goes with the territory.
I’m lessons will have been learned, and I sincerely hope – and I believe – that when international tennis tournaments resume, that the sport will be all the better… not better, but be more disciplined and follow the protocols in place at whatever tournament is being staged at the time," Richard Lewis said.