Coric, Troicki, two coaches join Dimitrov with positive COVID-19 tests

Coric, Troicki, two coaches join Dimitrov with positive COVID-19 tests

Novak Djokovic’s fitness coach, Marko Paniki, and Dimitrov’s coach, Christian Groh, have also reportedly contracted the virus after appearing in Zadar, Croatia for the second leg of the Adria Tour.

Less than 24 hours after Grigor Dimitrov announced he had tested positive for COVID-19, five more people, including Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki, have confirmed they have also contracted the virus. Three were at the second leg of the Adria Tour in Zadar, Croatia, where Dimitrov made his most recent appearance.

“Hi everyone, I wanted to inform you all that I tested positive for COVID-19. I want to make sure anyone who has been in contact with me during the last few days gets tested,” Coric tweeted. “I am really sorry for any harm I might have caused! I'm feeling well and don't have any [symptoms]. Please stay safe and healthy! Lots of love to all!”

Dimitrov played Coric in his opening match on Saturday, losing, 4-1, 4-1, before withdrawing and flying back to Monaco. Coric returned the court for an evening-session match against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who would win, 4-1, 4-3 (1).

Djokovic’s fitness coach, Marko Paniki, and Dimitrov’s coach, Christian Groh, also reportedly tested positive, according to multiple sources. Alexander Zverev and Marin Cilic posted social media updates informing fans they have tested negative, though symptoms can take up to 14 days to appear if exposed to the virus. Sime Vickovic, who heads up Zadar’s COVID-19 response team, informed Croatian broadcaster HTV on Monday morning that 1,023 people have been tested since news broke of Dimitrov’s case.

Later, it was revealed that Troicki joined those disclosing positive tests. Troicki competed the prior weekend in Belgrade, where the Adria Tour debuted. He was not part of the lineup of players in Zadar, though he remained in Belgrade to compete in the Eastern European Championship, hosted at the Janko Tipsarevic Academy. Troicki last played on June 17 when he was defeated by world No. 963 Luka Pavlovic. His wife Aleksandra, who is pregnant with the couple's second child, also registered a positive test after attending the opening weekend of the Adria Tour. Their daughter came up negative.

Nick Kyrgios summed up his reaction with a few facepalm emojis, followed by this message. “Boneheaded decision to go ahead with the ‘exhibition’. Speedy recovery fellas, but that’s what happens when you disregard all protocols. This IS NOT A JOKE.”

In an Instagram post on Sunday, Adria Tour officials assured, after the final between Djokovic and Andrey Rublev was canceled, that every person who was in close contact with Dimitrov would be tested that evening. It was later reported that Djokovic would return to Belgrade first, with The Telegraph confirming with his representatives that the 17-time major champion has yet to be tested as of Monday morning. In a follow-up post, organizers reminded the public of an important widely accepted safety measure.

“It is recommended that anyone who has been in close contact for more than 10 minutes with the tennis player be advised to self-isolate for 14 days and to contact their doctor,” it read.

Rublev expressed that he will be following those guidelines. The Russian went 3-0 over the weekend, defeating Zverev, Cilic and Danilo Petrovic.

“What is happening in the world now is our responsibility. This is a global problem and it affects all of us,” he uploaded on Twitter. “We need to all help reduce the spreading of this virus. So I am going to self quarantine for the next 14 days. Thank you for your support.”

Cilic and Zverev shared they would also self-isolate. After news broke, the ATP, which is not affiliated with the Adria Tour, put out a statement. 

“The ATP wishes a complete and quick recovery for the ATP players and members of their staff who tested positive for COVID-19 following involvement in the Adria Tour exhibition tournament. The ATP continues to urge strict adherence to responsible social distancing and health and safety guidelines to contain the spread of the virus.

“In planning for the resumption of the ATP Tour season from August 14, ATP and other stakeholders have made exhaustive plans to mitigate risks through a variety of precautions and protocols to be implemented at ATP events. We continue to plan and adjust these precautions and protocols according to latest medical information and prioritize safety in assessing every decision.”

Djokovic, the President of the ATP Player Council, is expected to announce his initial test result Tuesday. Fellow council member Bruno Soares had plenty to say about the Serbian and rest of the participants in a podcast with Globoesporte.

“The summary for me of this situation is 'horror show'. Huge irresponsibility and giant immaturity. They were totally careless and it is difficult for me to find the words,” a translation read. “This event caused a general panic and I think it can affect the image of tennis, yes. Djokovic is the president of ATP Player Council and has had a totally different speech than what he ended up doing. He organized the event on his own and was in a very complicated situation.

“Even if you are at the North Pole, you shouldn't go out to parties at a time like this. There must be a minimum [amount] of respect for what is happening in the world. When Nick Kyrgios gave the lecture... the 'bug' really caught on.”

We will continue to update this developing story.