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Tennis Star Novak Djokovic Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Novak Djokovic, the world's No. 1-ranked men's tennis player, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Serbian tennis star released a statement on his diagnosis, saying that he and his wife have both contracted the virus after he organized a series of exhibition matches in southeastern Europe.

The events, called the Adria Tour, have been widely criticized for not maintaining significant social distancing protocols.

The stands were packed with fans, as The Associated Press noted. Tennis.com reported that players were seen mingling without proper social distancing, playing in basketball and soccer games, and visiting a nightclub.

Djokovic was photographed in close contact with tennis player Grigor Dimitrov, who has also tested positive for the virus.

"We organized the tournament at the moment when the virus has weakened, believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met," Djokovic said in his statement. "Unfortunately, the virus is still present, and it is a new reality that we are still learning to cope and live with."

Djokovic, 33, who has won the third-most Grand Slam titles of any male tennis player, has previously voiced concerns about the possibility of restrictions at future tennis events due to the coronavirus.

Earlier this month, he said that some players were "quite negative" about the U.S. Open being heldon its originally planned date without fans, as the AP reported.

He also said in April that another roadblock to him participating in future events could be that he is personally "opposed to vaccination," as Sky News reported at the time.

Djokovic recently held events in Serbia and Croatia. Serbia has seen more than 13,000 confirmed cases and more than 260 deaths due to the coronavirus, while Croatia has seen more than 2,000 confirmed cases and just over 100 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

"I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection," Djokovic said. "I hope that it will not complicate anyone's heath situation and that everyone will be fine."

He added that he is not currently showing any symptoms.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Austin Horn is a 2019-2020 Kroc Fellow. He joined NPR after internships at the San Antonio Express-News and Frankfort State-Journal, as well as a couple stints in the service industry. He aims to keep his reporting grounded in the experience of real individuals of all stripes.
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