"While watching images from the Adria Tour, I kind of felt that something was really wrong. Am I the only one?" French player Alize Cornet commented on hearing about the health conditions of players at the end of the Adria Tour. The event in question is a tournament formulated by No. 1 ATP player of the world Novak Djokovic. While players were out of competition for months due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Serb decided to start his own tournament located in the Balkans with a handful of male players, mostly Serbian, Croatian and Balkans. But what resulted is questionable if Novak Djokovic's Adria Tour incidents will result in closing the 2020 season for good.
There was an exciting party at a Serbian nightclub and then the tournament would start. Grigor Dimitrov. no. 19 in the world played the first round in Belgrade with Novak Djokovic, Dominic thiem and Alexander Zverev. The second round was in Zadar. Dimitrov had the opportunity to play Borna Coric and had to withdraw after feeling sick. The next day he flew back to his home in Monaco and had tested positive for COVID-19. "I am very sorry for the harm I might have caused. I am back home now and recovering," Dimitrov said weakly from his bed. The coronavirus pandemic had been expanded to all countries and a few key points haven't been upheld in having the tournament: The wearing of masks and keeping social distancing on and off the court. Most spectators, nearly 4,000 if not more, didn't have on masks and they were packed together in the stands to see their favorite players.
Where does the fault lie?
Novak Djokovic commented that he followed the rules of the Serbian government and the virus was well contained before the tournament. After Dimitrov flew home the next day his comrade Borna Coric Was tested after he was the last to have played Dimitrov on Saturday. Coric, the no. 33 ranked tested positive on Sunday night as well as Grigor Dimitrov's coach and Djokovic's fitness trainer. Novak Djokovic himself refused to be tested but sooner than later had to be. He returned to Belgrade where he and the family was later known to have been tested the following day.
Tuesday morning the results were in that Djokovic had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and his wife Jelena. He was bashed for his organizing the tournament without the few key health elements and said "of course you can criticize, 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". He had gone on to say that Serbia had better percentages on the coronavirus outbreak compared to other cities and countries and that way why the lockdown and restrictions were loosened. Now the Adria Tour will be looked upon as possibly another pandemic that with better safety measures would have been clear of the virus and an exciting healthy tournament would have taken place.
There are more tennis tournaments on the cusp of opening, but the U.S. Open is holding its grounds to have the event on on as scheduled. They will orchestrate a 'no spectators' stance hoping that this strategy will have the population down and any potential viruses at a standstill. This may be better than the way the Adria Tour has turned out with players and especially now Novak Djokovic testing positive for the virus. Wearing of masks and a stronger social distancing policy may be an improved chance of not having a viral invasion but conditions can still exist. Players may become doubtful as to if they'll play this season, with events being held in Charleston already. Nothing has been mentioned either about the employees of tournaments who are in closer proximity to the players. Will they feel safe working in the locker rooms and stores where people gather? Many tournament organizers will say let the games go on even without the fans, but they may not be the only ones to carry the coronavirus. As time goes on people will look at the Adria Tour and wonder should other tournaments be permanently closed for the entire 2020 season? Will having an event be a safe environment for everyone at this time? American ATP player Noah Rubin commented that "it's just not okay. Reckless and disappointing that they thought tennis deserved the risk". Unfortunately now things are coming to light as Djokovic himself have tested positive and who knows how many more will have a positive result.