Novak Djokovic, the world number one men’s tennis player, confirmed on Tuesday (June 23) he has tested positive for COVID-19.
He is the fourth top tennis player to test positive for the virus in a matter of days.
All of those now with the disease, including world number 20 Grigor Dimitrov, played at the Adria Tour exhibition charity event, which was organized by Djokovic.
The remainder of the event had now been canceled.
In a statement, the 17-time Grand Slam champion said, quote:
“I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection.”
He went on to say his family had all tested negative, but he will now self-isolate for 14 days.
The tournament had been played in front of packed stands during the opening leg in Belgrade, where social distancing measures were not being enforced.
Players were even seen embracing at the net, playing basketball during downtime, and attending press conferences together.
Djokovic defended the organization of the event, saying his intentions were, quote, “sincere” and adding that he’s currently showing no symptoms and remains in good health.
Earlier this month, Djokovic had himself been critical of the “extreme” protocols being put forward for when Grand Slam tennis resumes at the U.S Open in August.
He said it would be “impossible” to play if restrictions meant players were only allowed one member of their support staff at the Flushing Meadows venue and had to remain in hotels close to the airport.