World no. 1 Novak Djokovic and his wife Jelena were tested negative for the coronavirus on Thursday in Belgrade. Novak and Jelena were tested positive ten days ago, spending time in self-isolation in the Serbian capital and sharing the good news with fans of the 17-time Major champion.
In June, the crowd in Belgrade and Zadar enjoyed in the first edition of the Adria Tour, one of the most significant events after the coronavirus outbreak. The first leg took place at Novak Tennis Centre in his hometown of Belgrade, with Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem competing alongside the crowd's favorite and Thiem as the inaugural champion.
No strict social distancing was applied, with a packed crowd on the stadium during both weekends. Also, players embraced a football match on the nearby court, visited the night club and spent time with kids, having a lot of fun ahead of the trip to Zadar.
In Croatia, Djokovic, Dimitrov, Coric and others tested their skills on the basketball court against the local club, played tennis with kids on the public forum and competed in front of the spectators. Everything was fine until Sunday, June 21, when Grigor Dimitrov announced he is positive for the coronavirus, followed by Borna Coric and Novak Djokovic himself, causing turbulence in the entire tennis world and assembling stormy clouds over the world's leading player.
Ten days after the test, Novak Djokovic and his wife have beaten the virus, feeling no symptoms and following all the rules set by doctors.
Novak Djokovic's statement after revealing he was coronavirus positive.
"I'm thrilled and excited to see that all the tournaments, especially Grand Slams, are organizing their events," Djokovic said.
"I think that a lot of people were skeptical, especially for the US events considering what the US went through as a country during this pandemic. Many people, including myself, were quite skeptical about whether it would happen.
We are delighted that it is happening, of course, and we must provide jobs and opportunities for players to compete. As tennis professionals, we love sport and we are passionate about it. We miss competing and traveling, and we miss being on tour at the end of the day.
I think this is very positive news. The regulations and measures as of today are quite strict, I must say, with quarantine and with some players, especially those from South America, not being able to travel out of their countries to come to the States.
Hopefully, that will change: the ATP and the USTA, everyone is working on it. The worst-case scenario is that it remains like this, but there is time. Hopefully, every single player who participates, chosen by ranking, and deserves their place at the US Open will have an equal opportunity to travel there and compete like everybody else.
It is essential because this is the foundation of the ATP and the foundation of international tennis. We will all collectively try to make sure that this is the priority. Let's hope that in the next two months some of those restrictions will loosen up and we will have a great, great tournament.
Of course, Roland Garros moved to different calendar dates, and I am glad that they were able to put everything together because I understand the complications and the challenges behind the tournament organization. The US Open is one of the most important tournaments in the world and one of the sacred ones.
It's a tournament I've always enjoyed playing. We have another two months until the start of the US tournaments, so hopefully, the measures and regulations as it stands today will be different and loosen up a bit, especially with the quarantine.
The foundation of our international sport is that every player who has fought hard deserves his place in the US Open, with an equal opportunity to come, fly to New York, and compete. For me, this is fundamental. Speaking about the US Open in general, for me, quarantine is not easy to accept, especially if you do not have access to the tennis courts and gym areas.
All of us tennis players care about staying in shape. It's tough if you have to stay 14 days in quarantine and not be able to train. As I've heard from some people at USTA and ATP I've talked to in the last couple of weeks, it's highly likely that we will be able to go and use the courts during the quarantine if it stays there.
Also, there is a possibility there is no quarantine for athletes coming in, which would be phenomenal. Right now, there is still plenty of time to decide if I go or not. I cannot tell you yes or no. I would love to go, of course, but I have to see how it all plays out with the regulations."