Grigor Dimitrov says he’s still feeling the frightening effects of coronavirus over a month after testing positive at the Adria Tour.
Dimitrov was one of a handful of players and staff to contract the virus after playing at Novak Djokovic’s ill-fated tennis event in Serbia and Croatia.
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Dimitrov, Djokovic, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki all tested positive, as did the wives of Djokovic and Troicki.
But over a month later, Dimitrov has detailed how he’s still struggling with his health and is nowhere near ready to compete at the professional level.
The Bulgarian played in the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in France last weekend (another exhibition event), but has since lifted the lid on his scary symptoms.
“Clearly I’m not ready to compete at the highest level right now,” Dimitrov told Tennis Majors.
“The movement is getting better, everything else is kind of going in the right direction but it’s still not easy to recover.
“The virus was hard on me so I stayed home for about a month.
“I was not breathing well, was not feeling well. (I was) tired, you know, all the symptoms, had no taste, no smell. Everything you could possibly think of so it was no fun.
“In a way I’m lucky to be on the court right now.
“You don’t know. One day I feel really well and I have four hours to be out but then all of a sudden I need to completely shut down and take a nap, or just rest.”
Dimitrov opened up about life in self-isolation, saying he also struggled mentally.
“Of course (there are mental struggles). I mean, you’re alone 20 days for about 24 hours … so of course a lot of things are going through your head,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter how mentally strong you are, I think as a person, an athlete or anything, it’s inevitable to get some bad thoughts in your head so I had to deal with that too.
“This thing is real. If we take the right precautions and everybody is safe, things will get better quicker.
“But it’s a strange time so you have to work not only on your physical but on your mental aspect as well.”
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Dimitrov announced his positive virus test on Instagram, posting a photo of himself wearing a mask.
“I want to reach out and let my fans and friends know that I tested positive back in Monaco for Covid-19,” he wrote.
“I want to make sure anyone who has been in contact with me during these past days gets tested and takes the necessary precautions.
“I am so sorry for any harm I might have caused. I am back home now and recovering. Thanks for your support and please stay safe and healthy.”
Djokovic came under heavy fire after his charity event was played in front of packed crowds and saw players hugging at the net and posing for pictures together.
Players were also spotted partying in packed night clubs and ignoring social-distancing requirements.
Djokovic later issued an unstinting apology for the cancelled event, saying he was “so deeply sorry” that the tournament “caused harm”.