2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has come to the defense Novak Djokovic as she says the Serb had only good intentions with his Adria Tour project and added that no one would say a thing if nothing happened at the event.
Djokovic, whose childhood dream was to bring the biggest tennis names to his home country and the Balkans region, thought the Tour suspension was a perfect opportunity to try to organize something and help some players get some matches ahead of the season restart.
The 33-year-old's initial plan to visit four countries in the Balkans as his goal was to stage Adria Tour events in Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia -- all without any financial gain since the Adria Tour was a charity event and all the money raised would be donated to those who need it most.
Unfortunately, the Adria Tour ended in disaster as the tournament organizers decided to cancel the event after a total of four players -- including event founder Djokovic -- tested positive for the coronavirus. The remaining three players that tested positive were 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov, rising Croatian star Borna Coric and former world No.
12 Viktor Troicki -- the most blame for what happened received Djokovic.
But Bartoli wasn't having it
"He just wanted to organize a tennis party, during a difficult time for everyone. And it was very special for him to do that in Belgrade, where he grew up, Bartoli said on the “Match Point” show on Tennis Majors, as revealed on Sport365 France.
"It should not be forgotten either that there were 25,000 spectators for a football match in Belgrade a few days earlier. And the Serbian government authorized it. He did not break any rules. So I think he did it with the best of intentions, for a purely philanthropic purpose since no player was paid to play.
And then it's very easy to blame him afterwards, and to say that he should have been more careful and more careful. But if nothing had happened, everyone would have applauded his initiative and said it was a great event."
Meanwhile, this past Thursday -- just nine days after tesring positive for the coronavirus -- 17-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic announced he and his wife Jelena recovered from the coronavirus.