Thiem 'extremely sorry' for Adria Tour antics
(Reuters) - Dominic Thiem, number three in the world, "very much" regrets how the players behaved during Novak Djokovic's Adria Tour. Afterwards, four players were tested positive for the novel corona virus, said the Austrian on Thursday.
Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki tested positive after playing at the charity tournament in Serbia and Croatia, which attracted large crowds and saw players posing together for pictures.
Images and videos of the players hugging the net, playing basketball together and celebrating at the event were also posted on social media.
The finalist of the Australian Open, Thiem, played and won the Belgrade Leg, which was held in the tennis center of Djokovic on the Danube.
The 26-year-old, who lost to Djokovic in the Melbourne final, said he was "shocked" when he received the news of the Adriatic Tour. The event was canceled after the second leg in Zadar, Croatia.
"We played for weeks without an audience, so we were more than happy about the fans at the event," said Thiem in an Instagram post. "We trusted the Serbian government's corona rules, but were too optimistic.
"Our behavior was a mistake, we acted too euphorically. I am very sorry."
Although the players did not violate government protocols during the tournament, the risk of athletes from different countries mixing up without adhering to the now socially distant norms was highlighted.
Thiem, also a two-time finalist with Roland Garros, did not play in Zadar because he had registered for the Ultimate Tennis Showdown, which takes place at the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy in France on weekends.
"I have now been tested five times in the past ten days and the result has always been negative. I wish all those infected all the best and a speedy recovery," added Thiem.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Toby Davis)
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