An exhibition tour amid the COVID-19 crisis has literally turned into a nightmare for World No.1 Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic, who has come under severe scrutiny for not following the social-distancing norms and other protocol to control the spread of COVID-19 during the Adria Tour, has found support in the Prime Minister of Serbia.
Serbia PM Ana Brnabić is the latest to come to the defense of the under-fire tennis star, taking the blame.
“It’s my fault, it’s not Novak Djokovic and leave the man alone,” said Brnabić. She points out that she would personally try to do something and then be criticized, rather than sitting at home and watching everything from the side and doing nothing.
“Every part and all support to Novak,” said Brnabić.
Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric, Victor Troicki and his coach Goran Ivanisevic all tested positive for COVID-19 after featuring in the Adria Tour, an event organised by the multiple grand slam champion recently.
Following the news that Dimitrov had contracted the virus, the remainder of the tournament was cancelled and Djokovic had issued a statement, apologising to everyone who had participated in the event.
Djokovic's wife had also been diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as NBA star Nikola Jokic, who attended the event in the capital city of Serbia.
Following the negativity shared on social media, Djokovic even posted a story on Instagram quoting Serbia’s Patriarch Pavle, sending out a strong message.
“Boats don’t sink because of the water that surrounds them, but because of the water that enters into them. Don’t allow the surroundings to get inside you and to drag you to the bottom”.
The Serb is a firm believer in the spiritual leader, the 44th Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
#Djokovic on Instagram quoting Serbian Patriarch Pavle, known for his wisdom and humbleness: "Boats don't sink because of the water that surrounds them, but because of the water that enters into them. Don't allow the surroundings to get inside you and to drag you to the bottom". pic.twitter.com/NU8wF60E9P— Saša Ozmo (@ozmo_sasa) June 28, 2020
Meanwhile, Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic launched a passionate defense of compatriot and World No.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic after the latter was criticised heavily following the Adria Open fiasco.
Matic came to the aid of under-fire Djokovic and stated everything was going normally in Serbia and it wasn't Djokovic's fault that so many people ended up contracting the virus.
"People need to understand that the situation in Serbia was better than here. The country allowed everyone to do whatever they want, everything was open, the shopping centres and the restaurants," Matic told Sky Sports.
"So they started to live normal lives because our country was closed for three months completely. You were not allowed to walk on the street, you couldn't leave your home, so it was different than [England].
"But when they opened they said 'you are more than free to do whatever you want'. Before that tournament, there was a game with 20,000 people and nobody said anything about that.
"I just wanted to say that it is not his fault that he made the tournament. He just wanted to help the players play competitions. I don't see that he [did] something wrong."
With inputs from agencies