Former Rafael Nadal's coach and the ATP Mallorca tournament director, Toni Nadal, defended Novak Djokovic after everything that had happened with the Adria Tour last weekend. World no. 1 gave his best to organize one of the strongest tournaments after the coronavirus outbreak, staging two legs in Belgrade and Zadar and gathering Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem.
Instead of on tennis, the main focus on the pandemic from last Sunday, with Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric, Novak Djokovic and Goran Ivanisevic all tested positive for the coronavirus, canceling the rest of the event and spending time at their homes.
The main problem with the Adria Tour, in both Belgrade and Zadar, was loose social distancing measures. It offered a chance for the crowd in Serbia and Croatia to enjoy exciting matches and spend time with the players outside the court.
Without strict health measures, Novak and the rest of the field played football in Belgrade, went out to disco, competed without masks and allowed packed crowds 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 spectators 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 removed, 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 expressing fears about the season restart scheduled for August. Washington should be the first ATP tournament on the comeback trail, followed by the Masters 1000 event and the US Open, both held in New York.
Clay-courters should have the opportunity to compete on their favorite surface in Kitzbuhel, Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros, scheduled for late September. "The measures in Serbia are not so strict, and they have acted according to them.
It's a mistake anyone can make, and Novak Djokovic has already apologized. It has been a setback in the process of normalizing the circuit," Toni Nadal said.