Kyrgios & Evans criticise Djokovic tournament after positive COVID tests

Video Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on June 22, 2020 - Duration: 05:57s

Kyrgios & Evans criticise Djokovic tournament after positive COVID tests

Nick Kyrgios and Dan Evans criticise Novak Djokovic's Adria Tour after two players test positive for COVID-19.


Kyrgios & Evans criticise Djokovic tournament after positive COVID tests

RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT VIDEO SHOWS: MESSAGES POSTED ON NICK KYRGIOS' TWITTER PAGE, SOUNDBITES FROM BRITISH NUMBER ONE DAN EVANS AND SEVEN-TIMES DOUBLES GRAND SLAM WINNER, JAMIE MURRAY, RECENT FOOTAGE OF NOVAK DJOKOVIC AND PLAYERS AT THE ADRIA TOUR EVENTS IN SERBIA AND CROATIA, FILE FOOTAGE OF DJOKOVIC SHOWS: INTERNET (JUNE 22, 2020) (SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE) 1.

VARIOUS OF MESSAGE POSTED ON NICK KYRGIOS' TWITTER PAGE IN RESPONSE TO BORNA CORIC CONFIRMING HE HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, READING (English): "BONEHEADED DECISION TO GO AHEAD WITH THE 'EXHIBITION' SPEEDY RECOVERY FELLAS, BUT THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DISREGARD ALL PROTOCOLS.

THIS IS NOT A JOKE." 2.

MESSAGE POSTED ON NICK KYRGIOS' TWITTER PAGE, READING (English): "DIMITOROV (SIC) GOT COVID -19 ARE THIEM, NOVAK & ZVEREV ALSO GETTING TESTED?" INTERNET (JUNE 21, 2020) (SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE) 3.

MESSAGE POSTED ON GRIGOR DIMITROV'S TWITTER PAGE, READING (English): "HI EVERYONE - I WANT TO REACH OUT AND LET MY FANS AND FRIENDS KNOW THAT I TESTED POSITIVE BACK IN MONACO FOR COVID-19.

I WANT TO MAKE SURE ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN IN CONTACT WITH ME DURING THESE PAST DAYS GETS TESTED AND TAKES THE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS.

I AM SO SORRY FOR ANY HARM I MIGHT HAVE CAUSED.

I AM BACK NOW AND RECOVERING.

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND PLEASE STAY SAFE AND HEALTHY.

GD" ZADAR, CROATIA (JUNE 19, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 4.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC AND BORNA CORIC ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE 5.

PLAYERS AT NEWS CONFERENCE INCLUDING CORIC AND GRIGOR DIMITROV (HAT) 6.

PHOTOGRAPHER 7.

PLAYERS, INCLUDING CORIC AND DIMITROV POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHS 8.

BISERKA PETROVIC (MOTHER OF DRAZEN PETROVIC EX NBA PLAYER) GIVES BASKETBALL JERSEY TO DJOKOVIC 9.

GROUP PHOTO LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JUNE 22, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 10.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER 28 AND BRITISH NUMBER ONE, DAN EVANS, SAYING: "Running exhibitions is good and the one in France looks like there's social distancing and this one has been social distanced so well and I just think it's a poor example to set I think to be, you know, even if the guidelines in that country are not two metres I think we should all, you know, it's not a joke is it?

And I think we should -- Even if the guidelines were taken away in this country to normal I would still be trying to keep myself out of the way as much as I could from other people and I just think there's been a total disregard to that really and it's very unfortunate that Grigor (Dimitrov) has it and (Borna) Coric has it but, you know, you strip it back, is it a surprise?

I think that's the question we should all ask and you know I think we could definitely learn from that and hopefully that event doesn't take away from, you know, now the U.S. Open -- I hope there's no second, you know kind of second guessing on the U.S. Open now because of some unfortunate events." MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (FILE - FEBRUARY 3, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 11.

VARIOUS OF WORLD NUMBER ONE NOVAK DJOKOVIC POSING WITH AUSTRALIAN OPEN TROPHY AND KISSING TROPHY LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JUNE 22, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 12.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER 28 AND BRITISH NUMBER ONE, DAN EVANS, SAYING: (RESPONDING TO QUESTION ABOUT WHETHER NOVAK DJOKOVIC SHOULD CONTINUE AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE ATP PLAYERS COUNCIL) "I don't know.

Honestly, when I sit in those meetings, I don't know how they -- how it really works and how they get to those positions but, put it this way, I don't think he (Novak Djokovic) should be having a players' party and dancing all over each other and then two very good tennis players have tested positive.

He should feel some responsibility in his event and how it's transpired really." BELGRADE, SERBIA (JUNE 12, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 13.

VARIOUS OF DIMITROV (SECOND LEFT) SEATED NEXT TO (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT) ALEXANDER ZVEREV, NOVAK DJOKOVIC AND DOMINIC THIEM AT A NEWS CONFERENCE AHEAD OF THE FIRST LEG OF DJOKOVIC'S ADRIA TOUR 14.

ZVEREV, DJOKOVIC, DIMITROV AND THIEM POSING FOR PHOTOS TOGETHER LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JUNE 22, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 15.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER 28 AND BRITISH NUMBER ONE, DAN EVANS, SAYING: "Like a lot of the guys I know who have been, you know, if you do get it then it is unfortunate, but I think if you're helping yourself as much as you can not to get it -- It's one of those things; there is a virus about.

Hopefully we will get our test results tomorrow and none of us have it, but it wouldn't be for the, it wouldn't be for not trying and not staying out the way of each other and following the social distancing rules, you know, I can assure you of that." BELGRADE, SERBIA (JUNE 14, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 16.

THIEM HOLDING WINNER'S TROPHY AFTER FIRST ADRIA TOUR EVENT, ARMS LINKED WITH DJOKOVIC, POSING FOR PHOTOS 17.

DOMINIC THIEM AND NOVAK DJOKOVIC LEAVING NEWS CONFERENCE TABLE FOLLOWED BY APPLAUSE LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JUNE 22, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 18.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SEVEN-TIMES DOUBLES GRAND SLAM CHAMPION, JAMIE MURRAY, SAYING: "I mean from our point of view we're obviously doing everything we can to limit that from happening.

You know, with all the measures we've got in place here, LTA (the Lawn Tennis Association), NTC (the National Tennis Centre) staff have been very stringent on that and how the building operates which has been great.

I mean most the guys are used to it now because it's been like that for four or five weeks." 19.

WHITE FLASH 20.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SEVEN-TIMES DOUBLES GRAND SLAM CHAMPION, JAMIE MURRAY, SAYING: "I think from our point of view we know that there will probably be a few more eyes on us after what happened to the Adria Tour.

So, you know, everyone is I guess going to be on the top of their game I think when it comes to social distancing and all that because obviously, you know, we don't want -- the players obviously but all the staff that are involved - we don't want anyone to get sick." 21.

WHITE FLASH 22.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SEVEN-TIMES DOUBLES GRAND SLAM CHAMPION, JAMIE MURRAY, SAYING: "Basically all the guys got tested this morning; that was mandatory for everyone competing in the event and basically if someone is to fall ill during the week then they will obviously drop out but then everyone will be basically getting tested daily from that point on to the end of the tournament." ZADAR, CROATIA (JUNE 21, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 23.

VARIOUS OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE ADRIA TOUR VENUE STORY: Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios publicly criticised the Adria Tour organised by Novak Djokovic after two players tested positive for COVID-19.

Croatia's Borna Coric became the second player from Djokovic's exhibition tournament to test positive for the virus, raising serious concerns for tennis governing bodies in their bid to restart the sport after a lengthy shutdown.

The professional circuit was halted in early March as nations closed borders and imposed lockdowns to contain the spread of the virus.

Last week the men's ATP and the WTA, which runs women's events, issued revised calendars for the resumption of the circuit from August while organisers of the U.S. Open said the Grand Slam will be staged without fans as scheduled from August 31 to September 13 in New York Those plans, however, could need to be redrawn with Coric's positive test following that of Grigor Dimitrov, who said on Sunday (June 21) he had contracted the novel coronavirus, highlighting the risks of athletes from different countries mixing without adhering to social distancing norms. "Boneheaded decision to go ahead with the 'exhibition' speedy recovery fellas, but that's what happens when you disregard all protocols.

This IS NOT A JOKE," Kyrgios said in a scathing social media post.

British number one Dan Evans said it set a poor example and that Djokovic should take responsibility for the positive tests.

Evans was speaking in London ahead of the Battle of the Brits - an exhibition tournament for British players featuring Andy Murray that's being organised by his brother Jamie.

Evans said the social distancing rules set in place for the Battle of the Brits were robust and nothing compared with what was seen at the Adria Tour's two events in Serbia and Croatia.

The ATP and the WTA did not respond to request for comments.

Organisers of the Adria Tour could not be reached for comment.

Bulgarian Dimitrov flew in to play in Djokovic's event in Belgrade and the second leg in the Croatian coastal resort of Zadar as did other top names like Dominic Thiem of Austria and Germany's Alexander Zverev.

Organisers of other sports looking to resume from the coronavirus shutdown will be watching developments with some trepidation as they try to find the safest way of getting competition back under way.

Coric, ranked No.33 in the world, revealed on Twitter that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

"I want to make sure anyone who has been in contact with me during the last few days get tested," the 23-year-old said.

"I am really sorry for any harm I might have caused.

I'm feeling well and don't have any symptoms." The tournament witnessed packed stands during the opening leg in Belgrade, players hugging at the net, playing basketball, posing for pictures and attending press conferences together.

Djokovic organised nights out in Belgrade for the players and himself and pictures and videos of him dancing with the other participants at his event were posted on social media.

With both Serbia and Croatia easing lockdown measures weeks before the event, players were not obliged to observe social distancing rules in either country.

With international tennis suspended, Djokovic organised the Adria Tour as a charity event to be contested over four legs across the former Yugoslavia.

Djokovic's fitness coach Marco Panichi also tested positive, Serbian daily Sportski Zurnal reported, quoting Croatia's health institute.

The men's world number one took the test on Monday after returning to Belgrade in the morning, Serbian media reported.

The next exhibition tournament to begin will be the Battle of the Brits on Tuesday (June 23), which will be streamed live on Amazon Prime Video.

Jamie Murray said he now expected more attention on the event because of the positive tests in the Adria Tour.

Murray added that all the players were tested on Monday and will find out the results on Tuesday before play begins.

(Production: Tim Hart)

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