What was organized as an exhibition tournament so that tennis fans could see several of the top stars of the professional men's tennis circuit again ended in an international scandal that generated controversy and that caused that several of the protagonists were diagnosed as positive for coronavirus.
He Adria Tour, a benefit tournament that was going to cover fields in Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina in the midst of a pandemic, became the epicenter of the wave of contagions for world tennis with its organizer, Novak Djokovic, as the main target for the game format without social distancing and the participation in private parties that were made public and showed that the athletes did not take the necessary precautions in the midst of the epidemiological crisis that the world is going through.
In the last hours, and after the confirmation that both Nole like his wife, the tennis players Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki; coaches Marco Panichi and Cristian Groh; and even NBA star Nikola Jokic, they are infected with the COVID-19 virus, the one who spoke out against what happened was Dominic Thiem's manager, current number 3 in the world and who won the tournament that was played in Belgrade, the Serbian capital, was very critical against Djokovic for his way of acting.
“Everyone knows it was stupid, no public apology helps. The only one who has to apologize is Djokovic because he organized everything. The others were there, they didn't kill anyone", said Herwig Straka in dialogue with the Vienna newspaper Der Standard.
When asked about how the tournament was organized, away from the protocols imposed by the ATP, the representative of the Austrian tennis player remarked the wrong format that the Adria Tour had. “The players are independent, the event was not in our area. In this case, they have exaggerated. I have to blame Djokovic for the main thing. Originally for honorable reasons, the focus was on the concept of charity. But it went in the wrong direction, it was misused as a publicity show. You have to blame Djokovic for that. "
“As president of the tennis players (by Djokovic), he did not fulfill his role. From the ATP's point of view this was a totally unnecessary event, ”said Straka, who tried to remove the responsibility of participating his representative. “What should I ask for forgiveness for. For having played there? The other players were excused because they tested positive"He said about the confirmed cases of Djokovic, Coric and Dimitrov.
At the same time, Thiem's representative made it clear that the attitude he took was not correct. “Clearly, that was nonsense. Everyone knows it was stupid, no apology can fix it. None of those who participated there fulfilled their role as an example. That's sad and true"
Once the interview that the Austrian media conducted with its manager was released, it was Thiem himself who made his apologies public for what happened with the exhibition tournament that ended with the positives of coronavirus. "I was shocked when I heard about the Adria Tour," says the first sentence of the image that Dominic posted on his official account.
“Our behavior was a mistake, we acted too eutrophic. So sorry"added the best Austrian tennis player of the moment. And it also confirmed that in the last 10 days it was tested five times by COVID-19 and all of them were negative.
"I wish all those infected the best recovery," concluded Thiem, one of the protagonists of a controversy that seems to have no end in the world of men's tennis.
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