Ivanisevic on Adria Tour: "Everybody is smart now, attacking Novak"

Ivanisevic on Adria Tour: "Everybody is smart now, attacking Novak"

The Croatian said, "it's not easy for him, but he's doing fine," after Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19.

Novak Djokovic is not having an easy time following his announcement that he has tested positive for the coronavirus, says his coach, Goran Ivanisevic.

Ivanisevic told RTL in a television interview that the two had spoken since the cancellation of the final day of Djokovic's exhibition in Croatia, which was run by Ivanisevic. The world No. 1 has gone back to Belgrade, where he underwent testing.

"It's not easy for him, but he's doing fine, in the circumstances," said Ivanisevic. "He will hold up despite everything, but it is not easy for him."

AP Images

The event was canceled when Grigor Dimitrov, who had played in Croatia the day before and then withdrawn, announced he had been identified as having COVID-19 upon returning to Monaco. At least nine players or team members who were at either the Serbia or Croatia stops on the Adria Tour have since been found positive.

Speaking to the NY Times, Ivanisevic said the criticism was coming in hindsight, even though there had been widespread reaction to crowds at the Belgrade event and contact between players during the events.

"Everybody is smart now, and they are attacking Novak," he said. "We were locked down for three months. He organized this tour. The players came in Belgrade and we had good tennis and a good atmosphere. Everything in Serbia and everything in Croatia was done with the recommendations by the government."

But offsite, the players also participated in soccer and basketball games before the exhibitions, and went to a nightclub and a festival. Video footage of their evening at the nightclub in Belgrade was widely shared online, and Ivanisevic acknowledged it had not been advisable activity.

"OK, maybe you didn’t need this. But they are all individuals. Nobody forced anybody to come into that club. Nobody forced anybody to dance," he said.

Djokovic will receive more testing in a few days. The Serb is currently in isolation in Belgrade.