Not surprising to see Djokovic test positive for COVID-19, says Murray
LONDON (Reuters) - Andy Murray criticized Novak Djokovic, the world's largest Novak Djokovic, for running the Adria Tour exhibition tournament without taking COVID-19 precautions after the Serb and three other players tested positive for the novel corona virus.
Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki also returned positive tests after playing at the Balkan tournament, where players hugged the net, played basketball, posed for pictures and celebrated as they did in the days before COVID- 19 had done.
Murray said he hoped the players and their family members who tested positive would recover soon, adding that the tournament shouldn't have taken place after the event.
"It is of course not surprising how many players have tested positive when you see the scenes and pictures as well as the videos of the tournament and the player party without social distance," said Murray on Tuesday.
"I've seen some people say that this casts doubt on the US Open, but the measures and protocols they have implemented are fundamentally different from those in Serbia and Croatia.
"First of all, there will be no fans and the players will now know that we can all be affected. It doesn't matter who you are, we have to respect the rules."
However, the players have not broken government protocols in Serbia or Croatia, as both countries loosened blocking measures weeks before the event.
Murray made a successful return on Tuesday defeating Liam Broady at the Battle of the Brits charity tournament at West London's National Tennis Center.
The two-time Wimbledon champion and former number 1 in the world won in his first competitive game since the Davis Cup final in November 6-2 and 6-2 against British number six.
The week-long event, organized by Murray's brother Jamie, while professional tennis remains suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is played behind closed doors with strict health protocols.
While there were chair umpires, the players took their own balls and towels and didn't change ends. The event raises funds for the UK National Health Service.
On the opening day there were also victories for the British Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund in London.
Murray will face Edmund in his next round robin match.
"It was okay, I served well throughout the game. I didn't hit the ball as well from the back and didn't hit the ball well," he said.
"But it was okay. For a first game in seven months and not trained much, so it was fine."
"The last time I picked up my own balls was around 17. Although we do it all the time in practice."
The ATP tour was stopped in early March when the nations closed the borders and imposed barriers to curb the spread of the novel corona virus. Last week, the ATP and the Women's WTA issued revised calendars for the resumption of the racetrack from August.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman in London, additional reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
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