Home Sports Novak Djokovic’s father accuses Grigor Dimitrov in sad coronavirus twist

Novak Djokovic’s father accuses Grigor Dimitrov in sad coronavirus twist

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Novak Djokovic isn’t responsible for the coronavirus outbreak at his charity tournament, the Adria Tour — according to his outspoken father.

Srdjan Djokovic, who has come under fire in the past for controversial and unsportsmanlike statements, has accused Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov for the spike in people infected, including Novak and his wife Jelena, who both tested positive after the tournament.

“How did the infection come about? Probably because Dimitrov came sick, who knows where,” Srdjan told broadcaster RTL. “He was not tested in Zadar, but somewhere else. I don’t think that’s right.”

Dimitrov, 29, was the first player to test positive after the second leg of Novak’s ill-conceived exhibition tournament that started in Serbia before moving to Croatia. The event was highly scrutinized for enforcing little to no social distancing measures amidst the pandemic. Players were seen hugging and and out partying together on tournament-organized trips.

The event’s recklessness immediately drew ire from multiple members of the tennis community, including Nick Kyrgios, Dan Evans and Andy Roddick.

“You can also criticize us and say this is maybe dangerous. But it’s not up to me to make the calls about what is right or wrong for health. We are doing what the Serbian government is telling us,” Novak said at the opening ceremony.

Novak Djokovic's father Srdjan and mother watch a match at the 2020 Adria Tour in Belgrade
Novak Djokovic’s father Srdjan and mother watch a match at the 2020 Adria Tour in Belgrade.Getty Images

Croatia’s Borna Cornic — Dimitrov’s final opponent — tested positive following their match, and Serb Viktor Troicki and his pregnant wife have also tested positive, prompting the shutdown of tournament.

“[Dimitrov] brought great harm to you in Croatia and to us as a family, and to Serbia,” said Srdjan, who recently raised eyebrows for accusing Swiss star Roger Federer of being jealous of his son’s success.

“Nobody is well, not even my son,” he added.

Novak, who has publicly opposed vaccination, announced on Tuesday that he and his wife had tested positive upon arriving in Belgrade and are self-isolating for the next 14 days.

“I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection,” the 33-year-old said in a translated statement. “I hope that it will not complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine.”

“We have to come out stronger from this and understand that everything will pass, and in some way we have to protect ourselves,” Srdjan said. “We will do everything that in the future, when there is a normal time, we will come to Zadar again.”

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