Djokovic’s Coach, Coric and Dimitrov’s Instructor Test Positive For Coronavirus


Novak Djokovic’s fitness Coach Marko Paniki and Borna Coric have tested positive for coronavirus after undergoing test on Sunday following their participation in the Adria Tour.

Grigor Dimitrov’s coach Kristijan Groh is also reported to have contracted the virus after 22 persons including officials and players were tested.

Bulgarian Dimitrov pulled out of the regional exhibition tournament – which had sparked criticism for lack of safety precautions – in Croatia on Saturday following his opening singles match against Croatian Coric, after feeling unwell.

The Adra Tour organized by World No. 1 Djokovic had reached its crescendo when Dimitrov announced he had contracted the virus thereby leading to the cancellation of the finals between Djokovic and Rublev. 

” Grigor Dimitrov was tested in Monaco and tested positive for Covid-19. We are very sorry and we tried to respect all the prescribed epidemiological measures. From the moment we found out the information, we are in contact with all health services. None of the people involved in the organization and who have been in contact with Grigor have symptoms. Despite that, we did not want to put anyone in any danger and the final match was canceled,” said the director of Adria Tour in Zadar, Goran Ivanišević.

Three persons have since been confirmed positive after 22 underwent test.

Djokovic alongside participants of the Adria Tour from abroad will return home to ascertain their coronavirus status. 

“Novak did not feel any symptoms or anyone from his environment, including the professional staff, so he did not go for testing now. After arriving home in Belgrade, he will contact the epidemiologist, and he will continue the procedure to his doctor according to the recommendations of the medical service, ” the organizers said.

Participants from Croatia who came in contact with Dimitrov for more than 10 minutes have been advised by the organizers to self-isolate for 14 days and contact relevant health authorities.

Djokovic, Dimitrov and their fellow Adria Tour competitors have received criticism for not following advice on social distancing.

However, Djokovic, who has been an outspoken critic of plans to introduce a COVID-19 vaccine, has hit back at critics.

“I know there have been some criticisms as well especially coming from the west: ‘why do we have a crowd? Why not having social distancing? What is going on and why are they having this kind of event in the midst of a very hard pandemic in the west?'” Djokovic told Eurosport’s Tennis Legends vodcast.

“But, you know, it’s hard to explain to people that the situation is really, really different maybe in America or the UK than it is in Serbia or surrounding countries, and obviously from the day one of the organisation of the Adria Tour, [we have been] following the rules and the measures that have been regulated by obviously the government institution and the public health institution.

“We have never crossed those lines, so we always waited for them to give us a green light whether we could or could not have the crowd, and then we asked them once we could have, how much we could have, whether there was a social distancing or not. So we have been through all those processes and the result of it all is amazing.

“I’m extremely satisfied. I’m grateful to all the people that participated for the organisation in a very short time for this kind of event. You normally need three to six months, at least, to put everything together; we all did it in three to four weeks.

“So it’s a huge effort, a huge success, and I think it’s a positive image for the sport in general, for tennis.

“I think it is important that we move on to do whatever we possibly can to provide opportunities for players regionally, continentally, and hopefully soon intercontinentally to compete and earn money, to earn points, and to live out of this sport as they [the players] have through all their careers.

“We had to mobilise as many people as possible, trying to understand also the regulations and the measures that allow us to hold an event.”