Coric second player at Djokovic event to test positive for coronavirus

In this file photograph taken on January 8, 2020, Borna Coric of Croatia reacts during his men's singles match against Diego Schwartzman of Argentina at the ATP Cup tennis tournament in Sydney. (AFP)
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Updated 23 June 2020

Coric second player at Djokovic event to test positive for coronavirus

  • One of Djokovic’s coaches and another member of Dimitrov’s entourage have also reportedly tested positive for the virus, according to Croatia’s N1 television channel

PARIS: Borna Coric announced on Monday he has become the second player to test positive for coronavirus after taking part in an exhibition tournament in Croatia featuring world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

“Hi everyone, I wanted to inform you all that I tested positive for COVID-19,” the Croatian, ranked 33rd in the world, posted on Twitter.

It follows Sunday’s announcement by Grigor Dimitrov that he had also tested positive after pulling out of the exhibition event, which is one of the biggest since the tennis season was halted because of the pandemic.

Coric tweeted: “I want to make sure anyone who has been in contact with me during the last few days gets tested!

“I am really sorry for any harm I might have caused! I’m feeling well and don’t have any simptoms (sic). Please stay safe and healthy! Lots of love to all!”

One of Djokovic’s coaches and another member of Dimitrov’s entourage have also reportedly tested positive for the virus, according to Croatia’s N1 television channel.

Coric had beaten Bulgaria’s Dimitrov in the second leg of the Adria Tour in Zadar on Croatia’s Adriatic coast on Saturday.

Dimitrov withdrew from the Balkans tournament following that match, complaining of feeling unwell.

Sunday’s final between Djokovic and Russia’s Andrey Rublev was immediately canceled as a precaution.

Australian star Nick Kyrgios responded to Coric’s tweet by describing the staging of the tournament as “boneheaded.” 

“Boneheaded decision to go ahead with the ‘exhibition,’” Kyrgios wrote on social media.

“Speedy recovery fellas, but that’s what happens when you disregard all protocols. This IS NOT A JOKE.”

Also playing in the tournament were world No. 3  Dominic Thiem, former US Open winner Marin Cilic, seventh-ranked Alexander Zverev and Filip Krajinovic.

Responding to Dimitrov’s positive test on Sunday, Djokovic’s brother Djordje, the tournament director, told Sportske Novosti: “Novak? He took this news very hard. We undertook all the measures prescribed by the governments of Serbia and Croatia.”

The news of Coric’s positive test emerged as Serbian football league champions Red Star Belgrade reported that 5  of their players had gone down with coronavirus just 12 days after their derby clash with Partizan Belgrade.

The game was watched by 16,000 fans, the largest sporting gathering seen in Europe since the continent went into lockdown in March.

The Adria Tour had been organized to fill the gap in the virus-hit tennis calendar which has been on ice since mid-March and was played out to a daily crowd of 4,000 fans at Djokovic’s tennis center on the banks of the Danube in Belgrade last week.

Dimitrov, Djokovic and Thiem, as well as the other players, were then seen partying at a packed Belgrade night spot.

Thiem has since travelled to the south of France to play in another exhibition tournament, the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in Nice.


‘I couldn’t see where I was going,’ says Lewis Hamilton after Austria rain masterclass

Updated 11 July 2020

‘I couldn’t see where I was going,’ says Lewis Hamilton after Austria rain masterclass

  • After a disappointing practice day on Friday, the six-time world champion bounced back to his best

SPIELBERG, Austria: Lewis Hamilton said he survived some “heart in the mouth” moments on Saturday as he claimed a spectacular pole position in treacherous rain-swept conditions for Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix.
After a disappointing practice day on Friday, the six-time world champion bounced back to his best as he outpaced nearest rival Max Verstappen of Red Bull by more than 1.2 seconds.
His dramatic demonstration of supreme skill and speed on a wet track at the Red Bull Ring increased his record total of pole positions to 89.
“Honestly, I am pleased with that,” he said.
“What a tricky day! The weather is obviously incredibly difficult out there for all of us and, a lot of the time, you cannot actually see where you are going.
“I had one big moment, on the lap before last, when I had a big aquaplane.
“I had my heart in my mouth, but I was able to improve on the last lap, nice and clean. I love these days.”
The 35-year-old Briton had struggled with set-up issues on his Mercedes in Friday’s practice sessions, but said the team had resolved them and he was confident about Sunday’s race, whatever the conditions.
“Yesterday was a difficult day,” said Hamilton.
“It started off well in FP1 and then in FP2 there was a big issue for us, but we discovered it overnight — nothing major.
“I think today would have been better for us if it had been dry, but I am grateful for the rain, like always! I love these kind of conditions.
“Tomorrow looks like a much sunnier day, but we are prepared for both conditions and that’s where I want to start.
“So, I am glad it was a trouble-free session with no mistakes. That’s always a positive.”
Hamilton’s performance enabled him to prove also that his form has not been affected by his passionate support for the global Black Lives Matter movement and the anti-racism efforts launched in Formula One.
“I don’t feel like I need to refocus,” he said this week after finishing fifth in last Sunday’s season-opening Austrian Grand Prix on the same circuit, won by his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
“My race was pretty strong. I need to do a better job, but I wouldn’t say I was distracted. I am focused on both — trying to fight and win this championship, but also fighting for equal rights.”
On Thursday, he said he was hoping to be able to take the knee again — as he and 13 other drivers did before last Sunday’s race — and was seeking a way to make this possible.
“If I can find a way of making sure it doesn’t get in the way of us doing our job, then I will,” he said.