Rafael Nadal's former coach and the ATP Mallorca tournament director, Toni Nadal, defended Novak Djokovic after everything that had happened with the Adria Tour over the last two weekends. World no. 1 put a lot of effort into organizing 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 tennis, the main focus turned to the pandemic from last Sunday. Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric, Novak Djokovic and Goran Ivanisevic had all tested positive for the coronavirus, canceling the rest of the event and forcing players to went their homes.
The main problem with the Adria Tour, in both Belgrade and Zadar, was loose social distancing rules and measures. It offered a chance for the crowd in Serbia and Croatia to enjoy exciting matches between the rivals from the top, also to spend time with competitors.
Without strict health measures, Novak and the rest of the field played football in Belgrade, went out to the disco, competed without masks and appreciated time with the youngest fans.
In Zadar, they were on the basketball court and hit with kids on the public forum.
Everything seemed fine for both the players and spectators until last Sunday when Grigor Dimitrov announced the positive coronavirus test, followed by his coach and Borna Coric.
The final between Novak Djokovic and Andrey Rublev was dismissed, like the rest of the 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 embracing tests with the rest of his family on Monday.
On Tuesday, Novak revealed he and his wife Jelena were both positive for the coronavirus, feeling no symptoms and staying at home for the next couple of weeks. After everything that had happened in Belgrade and Zadar, almost the entire tennis world turned its back on Djokovic, calling him irresponsible and expressing concerns about the season restart scheduled for August.
While sending his support to Novak, Toni Nadal also said he should have been more careful about the entire organization and embraced strict measures, on and off the court. "It was a shame because it was a good initiative to make a little tennis movement that was going well.
There has been a coronavirus problem that has not been good for tennis, Novak Djokovic or other players. In a situation with so many problems, especially with world no. 1 involved, it would have been preferable if they had all been more careful in general."