Tennis: anger at Novak "Djokovid" after his positive test
Serb Novak Djokovic. REUTERS / Antonio Bronic / File Photo
Text by: David Kalfa Follow
Tested positive for Covid-19, Novak Djokovic has aroused anger since June 23, 2020. The Serbian tennis player, figurehead of a charitable tour in the Balkans (Adria Tour), is accused of irresponsibility. The world number one, renamed "Djokovid" on social networks, may take time to restore its image.
Novak Djokovic, tennis superstar, has earned a new nickname on social media and is anything but flattering: "Djokovid". On June 23, 2020, the world number one in the ranking of professional players (ATP) revealed that he and his wife had tested positive for Covid-19. Like other participants - Grigor Dimitrov (19th), Borna Coric (33th) and Viktor Troicki (184th) - of the Adria Tour, this charity tour scheduled from June 13 to July 5 in four Balkan countries (Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina).
The images of the first two stages, in Belgrade (June 13-14) and Zadar (June 20-21), caused a misunderstanding of part of the tennis world. We see Djokovic and others embracing, playing basketball and football, dancing in a nightclub, or mingling with dozens of fans, without the slightest respect for barrier gestures. " I am deeply sorry that our tournament could have caused such damage ," said the Serb on Twitter. We were wrong, it was too early ”.
Apologies that could not prevent the critics, while the men's tennis associations (ATP) and women's tennis (WTA) have just announced the resumption of official competitions for August, after three months of interruption related to the coronavirus. Australian Nick Kyrgios, known for his legendary blood strokes, was one of the first to draw, via social networks: " Do not mention what I have done with" irresponsible "in the past or what has could be called "stupid". There, it goes beyond everything. "Briton Andy Murray went there with a more measured comment:" I don't think it gave a very good image of tennis . "
It is especially the image of Novak Djokovic which is tarnished by this affair. The person concerned however tried to justify himself. " Everything we have done for a month was done with a pure heart and with sincere intentions ," he said, stressing that the Adria Tour had been organized " at a time when the strength of the epidemic was going down […], with the idea of helping tennis players in the region, to create conditions for them to play, for them to have an income in order to more easily overcome this difficult period ”.
Nevertheless, some fans do not seem ready to forgive him. " It's not really breaking news : Novak Djokovic is an idiot. It's Novax Djokovid, isn't it ? One of them said. “ I watch the images [of the Serb dancing in a nightclub, editor's note] . Oh my God, you're so stupid, Novak Djokovid ! Exclaims another.
Last March, French basketball player Rudy Gobert had to endure a torrent of insults and death threats after becoming the first NBA player to test positive for Covid-19. A few days earlier, the hub of Utah Jazz was filmed joking about the coronavirus, touching the affairs of his teammates or putting his hands on the dictation of journalists. " Do you remember when Rudy Gobert made his nonsense, he grabbed the Covid and he was named the most moron in the world of sport ?" Well, it was true, but honestly, Djokovic surpassed it, “says an Internet user.
Novak Djokovic still has his defenders to recall that Serbia officially counts few cases of coronavirus and that the management of the stage in Zadar by the Croatian Federation had been very criticized.
In the daily L'Équipe the Frenchman Julien Boutter, tournament organizer, thus flew to the aid of "Djoko". “ Everyone agreed to come. If he was within his rights, if he followed the sanitary rules of his country and the players did not come with a knife in the throat, it is not open to criticism, "said the director of the Open Moselle. And to conclude, in view of the next competitions: “ The intelligent reflection to have is to say that we had a replica of an important tennis event, these are the consequences. What do we do ? It's a good lesson. I compare it to a car crash test. We thought it was perfect but we realize that there is a hiccup. It is up to us to correct it. "
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