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USTA won’t repeat Novak Djokovic’s coronavirus missteps at US Open

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In the wake of Novak Djokovic testing positive for coronavirus after the tennis star’s wildly ill-conceived tennis tournament, Andy Murray criticized his fellow player’s decision to go ahead with a tournament that ignored social distancing precautions.

“First, I hope [they] are well and they recover and that everyone who is affected is healthy and safe,” Murray said of Djokovic and the other players who took part in the Adria Tour exhibition tournament was put together by Djokovic.

“In hindsight, it’s not something that should have gone ahead,” Murray said of the tournament, which was cancelled after the positive tests, but not before pictures surfaced of players dancing together. “It’s not surprising how many people have tested positive after seeing some of the images of the players’ party and the kids’ day. There was no social distancing in place.’’

Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric tested positive for COVID-19.

Dan Evans, who, like Murray, was taking part in the Battle of the Brits tournament which was closed to the public, added: “I don’t think [Djokovic] should be having a players’ party and dancing all over each other. Two very good tennis players have tested positive. He should feel some responsibility in his event and how it’s transpired, really.”

Murray, though, added the bad news shouldn’t impact whether the US Open should be played in Queens this summer.

“Some people have said maybe this has put the US Open in doubt – which it may well do,’’ Murray said. “But the measures and the protocols they have in place at the USTA [United States Tennis Association] are different to Serbia and Croatia. No fans for a start. Coronavirus doesn’t care about who we are or what we do. We need to respect it and respect the rules… I don’t think it has been a great look for tennis. The only positive is that, until it is safe to do so, we have no fans at the event to reduce the risk as much as possible.”

In a statement released Tuesday, the USTA said it would take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of players.

“This situation is exactly why we have created a comprehensive health and medical plan with the input of our Medical Advisory Group,’’ the statement read. The group said it would create a “controlled US Open environment” to “mitigate potential risk.”

Not all players have agreed that the Grand Slam tournament should be held, with Nick Kyrgios calling it “selfish” on Twitter. He also called the Adria Tour event “boneheaded.”



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