Coric second player at Djokovic event to test positive for coronavirus

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

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.


Yokohama send big guns Jeonbuk packing with 4-1 victory

Updated 02 December 2020

Yokohama send big guns Jeonbuk packing with 4-1 victory

Yokohama send big guns Jeonbuk packing with 4-1 victory
  • It’s a fantastic achievement and we are proud of everyone involved — Marinos coach Ange Postecouglou

DOHA: Yokohama Marinos cruised into the knockout phase of the Asian Champions League for the first time in their history on Tuesday, hammering two-time champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 4-1 in their Group H clash.

Yokohama's Thai defender Theerathon Bunmathan thundered in a shot from the edge of the box in the 17th minute to set the tone, before three goals in the second half sent the 2006 and 2016 winners Jeonbuk crashing out of the tournament.

"It's a great performance and a credit to the players, because it's the first time the club has got out of the group stage," said Yokohama coach Ange Postecouglou.

"We started really well and put pressure on them, scored a goal — a good goal from Bunmathan.

"We missed some chances in the first half which always keeps the opposition in the game, but in the second half we were a bit smarter, worked our counterattacks really well and scored three good goals.

"It's a fantastic achievement and we are proud of everyone involved."

Besides being the first team from eastern Asia to win the Champions League when it was launched in its current format in 2003, Jeonbuk are also eight-time K League winners, a South Korean record, which includes four consecutive titles starting in 2017.

But at the Al Janoub Stadium on Tuesday, their only bright moment came in the 54th minute when Gustavo fired home from the penalty spot three minutes after Marcos Junior had put Yokohama 2-0 ahead.

Teruhito Nagakawa's 71st minute strike and an own goal by Song—  whose attempted headed clearance found his own net seven minutes from close — confirmed Jeonbuk's exit.

"The team gave what it was possible to do with the contingent that we have," lamented Jeonbuk coach Jose Morais.

"In the first half, strategically, we went in terms of containing the offensive game of Yokohama, which is a big game and a quality game."

"In the second half, the result as it was wasn't enough to take us forward, so we took more risks."

In Group G, Chinese giants Guangzhou Evergrande and South Korea's Suwon Samsung Bluewings played out a 1-1 draw at the Khalifa International Stadium.

Lim Sang-hyub put Suwon ahead in the 53rd minute but Wei Shihao restored parity in the 72nd for Guangzhou with the help of an assist from Ai Kesen.

The result means the second qualifying spot from the group will be decided on Friday with the Bluewings needing at least a 2-0 victory to join Vissel Kobe of Japan in the round of 16.

Guangzhou coach Fabio Cannavaro was once again at a loss to explain his team's showing.

"I am not happy because the performance of my team in the first half was not so good," said the former Italy international.

"We didn't control the game and we didn't even try to play football. Even in defence we did not play well. I don't want to find excuses."

Suwon's Park Kun-ha lamented the fact that his team didn't make the most of the chances they got.

"We got the first goal and then unfortunately conceded the equaliser. We had many chances at the end but we could not win."