Novak Djokovic.
Getty/Clive Brunskill
  • Novak Djokovic says he has been the victim of a coronavirus "witch-hunt" amid criticism of his controversial Adria Tour.
  • The Serbian also says he will likely boycott the US Open next month.
  • "I can only see criticism lately and much of it is malicious," Djokovic told Serbian newspaper Sportski Zurnal. "Someone has to take the fall, a big name."
  • Djokovic's June exhibition tour had to be cancelled midway through after four players, himself included, tested positive for Covid-19.
  • During the tournament, images and videos surfaced of players hugging, playing basketball, and partying together.
  • For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.


Novak Djokovic says he has been the victim of a coronavirus "witch-hunt" amid criticism of his controversial Adria Tour, and that he will likely boycott the US Open next month.

The Serbian's exhibition tour, which took place in June across Belgrade, Serbia and Zadar, Croatia, had to be cancelled midway through after Djokovic, and three other players all tested positive for Covid-19.

Viktor Troicki, Grigor Dimitrov, and Borna Coric all got the virus as well as the World Number One.

Images and videos of players hugging, playing basketball, and partying together during the tour led to widespread criticism of Djokovic, including from fellow tour star Nick Kyrgios, who labelled his actions as "irresponsible."

"I can only see criticism lately and much of it is malicious," Djokovic told Serbian newspaper Sportski Zurnal. "It's obviously more than just criticism, it's like an agenda and a witch hunt are on.

"Someone has to take the fall, a big name, to be the main culprit for everything. I leave it to others to say if that is fair. I don't think it is. I think that we must learn from all of this and to adapt as we go along."

He added: "I still haven't decided whether I will play in the US Open, the upsurge in registered Covid-19 cases in the United States and New York in particular are not playing into the event's hands."

Following the cancellation of the Adria Tour, Djokovic said he was "extremely sorry for each individual case of infection."

"Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions," he said. "Our tournament meant to united and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region.

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

The US Open is set to commence behind closed doors on August 31.

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