Novak Djokovic donates €40,000 to Serbian town fighting coronavirus

Tennis world No 1 and wife Jelena have now tested negative for Covid-19, 10 days after returning positive results

Novak Djokovic has donated €40,000 (Dh147,000) to a Serbian town hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, the week after tennis' world No 1 tested positive for Covid-19, according to local media reports.

Djokovic, 33, announced on June 23 that he and his wife Jelena had contracted the virus, becoming the fourth player involved in the Adria Tour to test positive.

On Thursday, the Serb's media team released a statement saying Djokovic and his wife have now both tested negative.

Djokovic received widespread criticism for organising the exhibition series in the Balkan region which also resulted in Borna Coric, Grigor Dimitrov and Viktor Troicki testing positive for the virus. Djokovic's coach Goran Ivanisevic, who was also a director for the Adria Tour, later tested positive as well.

Now, according to SportKlub TV, Djokovic has made a donation to Serbian town Novi Pazar, which declared a state of emergency at the end of June to fight a growing coronavirus outbreak in the area.

It is not the first time Djokovic has pledged financial support in the fight against the pandemic. The 17-time Grand Slam champion and his wife Jelena donated €1 million towards medical devices and supplies back in March.

Serbia had relaxed restrictions after containing the first wave of Covid-19 and limiting new cases to under 50 per day.

It prompted Djokovic to launch the Adria Tour, but the series, which was played in front of packed crowds and took few social distancing measures, descended into chaos and was cut short after Dimitrov tested positive.

Players involved in the Adria Tour also hosted kids coaching clinics, played basketball, and were filmed parting on a night out in Belgrade.

It was met with criticism from Andy Murray who said the fall-out was "not a great look for tennis", while Nick Kyrgios described the tour as "boneheaded".

The image problems suffered by the tour and its players only worsened when Alexander Zverev, who tested negative, said in a statement that he would follow medical advice and self-quarantine for two weeks, only to attend a busy party in the south of France days later.

Published: July 2, 2020 03:45 PM


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