Dubai: If final week gave a way of satisfaction and goal, then this week world primary Novak Djokovic can be left ruing about an ‘ill-timed journey’.
After all, Djokovic ought to have had all causes to be blissful that he was bringing tennis to Belgrade and the encircling nations by way of his much-hyped Adria Tour.
He beamed when Dominic Thiem and Sasha Zverev joined him for dinner, and he cried when the weekend was over and his childhood recollections of the town flooded again.
Whereas Djokovic’s critics say he “needs to be beloved”, there was a brand new twist this time when maybe Djokovic solely needed his residence to be beloved. Nevertheless it was the unsuitable time to attempt to stay with out limits that the Serbian persistently speaks about.
Late on Tuesday, Djokovic’s assertion pressured he’s “so sorry” after turning into the most recent tennis participant to check optimistic for Covid-19. Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki had all revealed they’d coronavirus after taking part in at Djokovic’s Adria Tour competitors earlier within the week.
The 33-year-old Djokovic had performed fellow Serb Troicki within the first occasion in Belgrade and in a publish on Twitter, Djokovic admitted that it had been “too quickly” to stage the match.
He additionally insisted that the match had been organised with “a pure coronary heart”, “good intentions” and a perception that they’d “met all well being protocols”.
Since then, motion has been swift with the remaining Adria Tour occasions in Banja Luka and Sarajevo being known as off by Djokovic’s brother Djordje, who’s a director of the match.
Through the first two legs of the Adria Tour, Djokovic and his fellow gamers had been seen mingling in shut proximity on quite a few events, opting to not adhere to social distancing. There have been loads of hugs to go round upon arrival, each on the press convention and after every match completed.
In Belgrade, Dimitrov was photographed guarding Djokovic carefully on the basketball courtroom, and the 2 joined the remainder of the group for some enjoyable on the soccer area as nicely. All celebrated the success of the primary weekend by partying at a nightclub, at instances even with out their shirts.
Properly-known Serbian actor Milos Bikovic, who attended the outing with Djokovic that night, has since then additionally examined optimistic. And so has Djokovic’s spouse Jelena.
Final month, in an interview Djokovic had insisted to an American journalist: “I don’t imagine in limits. I believe limits are solely illusions of your ego or your thoughts”.
Whereas this philosophy has served him nicely on courtroom, Djokovic’s newest imaginative and prescient was the Adria Tour – a charity exhibition sequence that was scheduled to be performed in 4 Balkan cities over 4 weekends- the place he noticed an opportunity to showcase his residence metropolis of Belgrade to the tennis world.
Not surprisingly, Djokovic is being slammed within the press and censured by his fellow gamers. Barstool Sports activities named him the “village fool,” and Nick Kyrgios in his standard abrasive fashion described the Adria Tour as “boneheaded”.
There are rumours that the ATP Participant Council might now transfer to oust him as its president with many seeing his an infection as one thing inevitable. Earlier this season, Djokovic earned corona-related criticism for multiple cause. He wavered on whether or not he would take a vaccine for it, he reportedly broke lockdown guidelines to apply at a membership in Spain and on the similar time described the US Open’s authentic entourage restrictions as “excessive”, and travelled again to Serbia earlier than being examined final Monday.
Lately, Djokovic had posted a much-derided Instagram chat with Chervin Jafarieh, a real-estate dealer turned wellness entrepreneur who was selling an costly natural therapy known as ‘Cymbiotika’.
Throughout their discuss, Djokovic asserted, amongst different issues, that “scientists have confirmed that molecules within the water react to our feelings,” and “by way of the facility of prayer, by way of the facility of gratitude, [people] handle to show essentially the most poisonous meals or essentially the most polluted water into essentially the most therapeutic water”.
Only a few gamers have been as meticulous about diet and coaching as Djokovic. He eats gluten-free and observes a plant-based food regimen. It’s onerous to imagine that somebody who’s so cautious about what he places in his physique may very well be so cavalier about contracting a virus.
Djokovic’s optimistic take a look at, and people of his spouse and fellow gamers, are a lesson for everybody, not only for the tennis world — about reopening too shortly, about flouting science, about trusting within the wellness motion and energy of optimistic considering, and, most significantly, concerning the lurking hazard of the coronavirus.