What a Djoke!
By Aniket Panja
The tennis season may have put on the back burner but nothing is stopping Novak Djokovic from making news. The 16 time Grand Slam Champion and his wife Jelena tested positive for Coronavirus. But what is making the headlines are the bizarre circumstances leading up to it.
Novak Djokovic organised the Adria tour, an exhibition tournament, along with his brother to raise money in the fight against Covid-19. Quite ironically almost all those who participated in the event have tested positive or have been advised to self-isolate. What is shocking is that Novak decided to organise the event at a time when the world is still coming to grips with the intensity of the virus.
Not only Djokovic and his wife, but Grigor Dimitrov, Viktor Troicki and his pregnant wife, Borna Coric as well as David Goffin have all tested positive. However, the real controversy erupted when video was leaked of the starts partying after the tournament. Djokovic and others could be seen dancing around with several people in attendance.
All social distancing norms went for a smash. As the news of Djokovic testing positive percolated around the world, the mega star came out with a bizarre statement saying that he thought that the intensity of the virus had subsided but he was wrong.
Among the players who had attended was Australian Open semifinalist Sascha Zverev. The rising star may be one of the futures of the sport but his off the court antics has left everyone baffled. After Zverev was asked to self- isolate he said that he would listen to his doctors advise only to disregard all safety norms as video emerged later showing that he was partying yet again.
The recklessness did not go down well with many but among them Nick Kyrgios did not waste time in letting Sascha know what he thought about the matter. He put out a video on Instagram where he said, “So I wake up and I see more controversial things happening all over the world but one just stuck out for me. Seeing Sascha Zverev again, again, how selfish can you be? How selfish can you be?”
The situation right now revolves around people trying to protect Novak and Alex Zverev with others calling them out for endangering lives. Filip Krajinovic has already claimed that Djokovic will once again silence his critics on the court and given Novak’s character we would be surprised if he didn’t.
He is likely to come out all guns blazing when the season resumes and dominate the sport like he has been doing. But the reality is that the Adria tour was a debacle. Someone of this stature should have reviewed the situation better before going through with it. There is no doubt that Djokovic is a champion on the court but this incident has just given people ample ammunition to question whether he is a champion off it?
This is one return game that Djokovic missed out on. He and many others have been aced by the Coronavirus. All we can do know is hope for a speedy recovery but when the players do return to the court there will be more than just fireworks.