Three-time Grand Slam semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov said Sunday that he tested positive for the novel coronavirus. His announcement came the day after he participated in an exhibition in Croatia alongside world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and other top players — and a week after he competed and socialized with them in Serbia.
Dimitrov, 29, shared the news via Instagram, along with a photo of himself recuperating in bed, with a mask on and what appears to be a hospital bracelet on his right wrist. In his post, he urged anyone who had been exposed to him to be tested and apologized if he had caused any harm.
“I want to reach out and let my fans and friends know that I tested positive back in Monaco for Covid-19,” wrote the 19th-ranked Bulgarian, who lives in Monte Carlo. “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 home now and recovering. Thanks for your support and please stay safe and healthy.”
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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 home now and recovering. Thanks for your support and please stay safe and healthy. GD
Djokovic, a native of Serbia, organized the Adria Tour to give players a chance to compete after the men’s and women’s pro tours were suspended in early March. The tour consists of tournaments in three Balkan countries — Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia — and is scheduled to run through July 15. Also competing are No. 3 Dominic Thiem and seventh-ranked Alexander Zverev.
The final match of the second stop, in Zadar, Croatia, was to have been played Sunday but was canceled via a Twitter statement that read: “Grigor Dimitrov has tested positive for COVID 19. As a precaution and to protect the health of all participants and visitors, we have decided to cancel the Adria Tour Finale in Zadar.” Dimitrov withdrew Saturday after losing to Borna Coric; Djokovic and Zverev also played in Zadar.
A 2019 U.S. Open semifinalist, as well as a semifinalist at the Australian Open in 2017 and Wimbledon in 2014, Dimitrov reached a career-high No. 3 ranking in 2017.
It’s unclear how Dimitrov’s diagnosis will influence players’ decisions to compete at the U.S. Open, which is scheduled to get underway Aug. 31 at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, or to travel to Washington two weeks earlier for the official restart of the ATP Tour at the Citi Open starting Aug. 14.
According to news accounts and photographs, there were few precautions against the coronavirus on the Adria Tour. It began with a news conference in Belgrade that included Djokovic, Thiem, Zverev and Dimitrov seated side by side, without masks, and fielding questions from several rows of reporters not wearing masks. Spectators were permitted to attend matches, many sitting side by side and few wearing masks. While tennis is among the sports offering inherent distance between competitors, there was little apparent effort to keep players from shaking hands or draping arms around one another following matches.
Djokovic defended the approach in an interview with Eurosport’s Tennis Legends podcast, suggesting the events posed little risk because they are regional tournaments in countries where incidence of the virus isn’t as high as it is elsewhere.
“I think it is important that we move on to do whatever we possibly can to provide opportunities for players regionally, continentally and hopefully soon intercontinentally to compete and earn money, to earn points and to live out of this sport as [the players] have through all their careers,” said Djokovic, who has called the player-safety protocols planned for the U.S. Open “extreme” and has not committed to competing.