Tennis club takes the blame for Novak Djokovic virus breach

·2-min read
Novak Djokovic (pictured left) and an unknown player (picture right) hitting the ball.
The Spanish tennis club that Novak Djokovic (pictured left) and an unknown player (picture right) were playing at during the coronavirus pandemic has apologised. (Images: Instagram)

The Spanish tennis club where Novak Djokovic was seen training in violation of the rules of the country's strict lockdown rules has confirmed it had given the world No.1 permission to play there.

Djokovic posted a video of himself on social media practising on a court at the Puente Romano tennis club in Marbella on Monday, the first day athletes were allowed to return to individual training in over a month.

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The video showed him exchanging shots with another man at a tennis club in the coastal city of Marbella, where the Serb has reportedly stayed.

The reigning Australian Open wrote he was "so happy to play on clay ... well, just for a bit with my phone in the hands."

But the Spanish tennis federation later released a statement to clarify that tennis players were not allowed to return to courts until May 11, and were only permitted to conduct individual training outside.

"We understood that professional athletes were able to train and authorised Mr Djokovic to use our facilities. After speaking with the tennis federation they made it clear to us he had to wait until 11 May to use the tennis club," said the Puente Romano statement.

"We shared this clarification with Mr Djokovic and both parties have agreed to restart training from that day. We regret that our misinterpretation of the rules may have inconvenienced Mr Djokovic in good faith."

Djokovic recently said he was against taking an anti-coronavirus vaccination if it became mandatory to travel once the pandemic subsides, though he later said he was open to changing his mind.

Spain was one of the hardest-hit countries by the pandemic but it started loosening some of its restrictions on movement as the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 started to go down in recent weeks.

The country went into a lockdown on March 14.

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