Last Wednesday was one of the most difficult days of Novak Djokovic's career. The World number 1, already targeted by all parties for organizing the Adria Tour without guaranteeing security and social distancing, has in fact announced his positivity to COVID-19 after returning to Belgrade.
At his side was father Srdjan, who had the not brilliant idea of blaming the incident for Grigor Dimitrov, the first to be positive shortly before the final of the second stage in Zadar. The Bulgarian's agent, Georgi Stoimenov, replied sharply to the accusations of Djokovic Sr and the manager of Dominic Thiem did the same a few hours later.
If that weren't enough, there are requests to get Nole out of his role as president of the board of players. Paul Annacone, former coach of Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, analyzed the situation trying not to throw gasoline on the fire.
Annacone: 'The end result was pretty disastrous'
“I think there’s a lot of his peer group who are scratching their heads. His passion to do something good clouded all the information, all the science. It was a good cause, driven by the right reason, but the end result was pretty disastrous”.
There are now growing calls for Novak Djokovic to step down as the president of the ATP player council. Paul Annacone said: “There’s 10 people on the council; they should figure how they feel about it. You have 500 players around the world on razor’s edge, hoping they can play in eight weeks [at the US Open].
Every action has a consequence”. Novak Djokovic's coach Goran Ivanisevic has tested positive for coronavirus having previously returned two negative tests. Ivanisevic was the tournament director for the Adria Tour’s Croatian leg in Zadar, which saw its final cancelled after Grigor Dimitrov’s positive coronavirus case.
Nick Kyrgios, Andy Murray and other tennis figures have spoken out against Djokovic's tour. "Obviously it's not surprising how many players have tested positive when you see the scenes and the images and the videos from the tournament and the players party with no social distancing in place," Murray said.
"I've seen some people say this puts the US Open in doubt but the measures and the protocols they have in place are completely different to what was going on in Serbia and Croatia. “For a start, there will be no fans and the players will now know we can all be affected by this, it doesn't matter who you are, we need to respect the rules."