The coronavirus has come to tennis in a potentially massive way. On Sunday, Grigor Dimitrov, who competed alongside Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev in last week's Adria Tour debut in Belgrade, Serbia, announced that he tested positive for COVID-19.
The 29-year-old posted a photo to Instagram, writing: "I want to reach out and let my fans and friends know that I tested positive back in Monaco..."
The Bulgarian was just in Zadar, Croatia for the second leg of Djokovic's Adria Tour. On Saturday, after he lost to Borna Coric, 4-1, 4-1, Dimitrov withdrew from the event—not officially because of COVID-19, as he said—and was replaced by Croatian world No. 299 Nino Serdarusic.
"I want to say that I will be fine," Dimitrov said on Saturday. "This is a consequence of physical effort and exposure to the sun in the past few days, and I will have to miss the last day in Zadar. I thought it would be fair to give up my place to a great young player to whom this will surely mean a lot."
The two-day event featured Djokovic, Zverev, Marin Cilic, Andrey Rublev, Danilo Petrovic, Pedja Krstin and Serdarusic. Dimitrov was also in contact with Thiem in Belgrade; the Austrian is currently in Nice, France playing the Ultimate Tennis Showdown, and has since tested negative for the virus.
Djokovic was set to face Rublev in Sunday night's final, but the match was cancelled just as it was about to get underway.
Hi Everyone-I want to reach out and let my fans and friends know that I tested positive back in Monaco for Covid-19. I want to make sure anyone who has been in contact with me during these past days gets tested and takes the necessary precautions. I am so sorry for any harm I might have caused. I am back home now and recovering. Thanks for your support and please stay safe and healthy. GD
"I want to make sure anyone who has been in contact with me during these past days gets tested and takes the necessary precautions," Dimitrov wrote on Sunday. "I am so sorry for any harm I might have caused. I am back home now and recovering."
Last weekend, Dimitrov took part in all Adria Tour events in Belgrade, including a celebratory night out. The event received considerable criticism for the lack of safety restrictions on site, with players and fans not social distancing or wearing masks.
It's not known exactly where and how Dimitrov contracted the disease.
We will continue to update this developing story.