Tennis superstar Grigor Dimitrov has tested positive for coronavirus after pulling out of an exhibition tournament which also featured World No.1 Novak Djokovic.
“I want to reach out and let my fans and friends know that I tested positive back in Monaco for Covid-19,” World No.19 Dimitrov wrote on Instagram on Sunday.
“I am so sorry for any harm I might have caused. I am back home now and recovering.”
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Last weekend, Dimitrov, 29, took part in the Adria Tour event in Belgrade with Djokovic, World No.3 Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev, ranked 17.
He also played in the second leg of the Balkans tournament in Zadar on Croatia's Adriatic coast on Saturday.
However, he withdrew after losing to Borna Coric, complaining of feeling unwell.
Later on Sunday, the final between Djokovic and Russia's Andrey Rublev was immediately cancelled as a precaution.
“This is the best possible decision. We have to take care about security of all involved,” former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, the tournament director of the Zadar event, said in remarks quoted by local media.
“Those who were in contact with Grigor will be tested. We are waiting for instructions of relevant bodies.
“I tested by chance three days ago and I'm negative.”
Zverev and former US Open winner Marin Cilic were also in the Croatia line-up.
“I want to make sure anyone who has been in contact with me during these past days gets tested and takes the necessary precautions,” added Dimitrov.
Adria Tour plagued by controversy
Bulgarian Dimitrov is a former World No.3 who was the ATP Tour Finals champion in 2017, one of his eight career titles.
The Adria Tour, organised to fill the gap in the virus-hit tennis calendar which has been on ice since mid-March, played out to a daily crowd of 4000 fans at Djokovic’s tennis centre on the banks of the Danube in Belgrade last week.
The event has copped widespread criticism over a stark lack of social-distancing between fans, players and officials.
Dimitrov and Djokovic as well as the other players were also seen partying the night away at a packed Belgrade night spot last week.
I’m an ardent supporter of Djokovic, but this party and the whole #Adriatour with packed crowds send the message: there is no #Covid_19, don’t practice social distancing, do as you like. It is irresponsible. It is a disgrace.— Ginio Beij (@ginio_beij) June 16, 2020
The images coming from the Adria Cup are shocking— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) June 12, 2020
Players are calling for safety measures at the #USOpen and saying they might not play... but are OK w/ full stadiums, a packed, close-quarters kids day, hugs, mic-sharing, selfies at an exo?
Actually can't believe what Im seeing
Oh, to be a fly on the wall at the USTA offices right now...— Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) June 12, 2020
This is absolutely reckless, are there no liability laws in Serbia? How are they not scared of being sued into obvilion if there’s an outbreak?— Jimmie48 Photography (@JJlovesTennis) June 12, 2020
Novak Djokovic needs to address this issue head on. He can’t just say that he’s following government regulations. I can’t believe the Adria Tour has gone ahead without social distancing measures??? In multiple cities??? Just disgraceful and I hope this is a wake up call— R. (@drivevolleys) June 21, 2020
Very disturbing to watch #AdriaTour! No #SocialDistancing players shaking hands after the match, crowds wo #Masks, even ball boys and girls... Not the right example in time of #COVID19 I love 🎾 BUT #health goes first. Meanwhile #COVID19 cases going up in Serbia @DjokerNole https://t.co/ip65cmGJGK pic.twitter.com/fHiPDhPXYI— Eduardo Vilar (@evilarsan) June 14, 2020
Third leg of Adria Tour already cancelled
The event had already suffered an embarrassing setback last week when the planned Montenegro leg of the four-nation tour was cancelled over coronavirus protocol rules.
Montenegro was due to be the third stop on June 27 and 28 after Croatia and before the conclusion in Bosnia.
But organisers said the visit to Montenegero had to be called off when it became apparent Serbia did not match strict health requirements.
Meanwhile, asked to comment on social distancing measures during the Belgrade leg, Djokovic said both Serbia and the region had been relatively successful in containing the virus.
“Of course you can criticise, you can also say this is dangerous or not, but it’s not up to me to make the calls what is health-wise right or wrong,” the 17-time grand slam winner told reporters, stressing he was acting in line with recommendations of the Serbian government.
Balkan countries coped with the COVID-19 pandemic with relative success.
The region of some 22 million people registered about 24,000 infections and fewer than 800 deaths.
With Yahoo Sports Staff