Novak Djokovic Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Dan Mennella
June 23, 2020 - 11:45 am

Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic says he is among the professional athletes who have recently tested positive for the coronavirus.

Djokovic revealed his positive test on Tuesday, just days after he came under criticism for organizing and participating in a tennis exhibition series in Croatia and his native Serbia the last two weekends, according to the Associated Press.

Djokovic shut down the tournament on Sunday and said he would get tested, in the wake of other positive tests.

"The moment we arrived in Belgrade we went to be tested. My result is positive, just as Jelena's, while the results of our children are negative," Djokovic said in a statement, according to ESPN. "Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. Our tournament meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region.

"I am extremely sorry for each individual case of infection. I hope that it will not complicate anyone's health situation and that everyone will be fine. I will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days, and repeat the test in five days."

The 33-year-old 17-time grand slam winner had previously expressed trepidation about playing tennis this year because of the public health crisis, revealing his anti-vaccine leanings in response to one proposal where players would be required to get vaccinated before playing.

"Personally, I am opposed to vaccination," Djokovic said in March, "and I wouldn't want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel. But if it becomes compulsory, what will happen? I will have to make a decision. I have my own thoughts about the matter, and whether those thoughts will change at some point, I don't know.

"Hypothetically, if the season was to resume in July, August or September -- though unlikely -- I understand that a vaccine will become a requirement straight after we are out of strict quarantine, and there is no vaccine yet."

Last week, New York Governor Cuomo announced that the US Open was still on. Cuomo said the tournament would begin in late August, and fans would not be in attendance.

Djokovic won the Australian Open in January, weeks before the tennis season was shut down indefinitely due to the pandemic. Wimbledon was subsequently canceled, while the French Open was postponed until the fall.

The reopening of training facilities in the US, and increase in testing that has come with it, have caused a surge in positive tests in virtually every sport in recent days.