Argentine tennis player Guido Pella has slammed World No 1 Novak Djokovic and his poorly executed Adria Tour, which has resulted in four players testing positive for Coronavirus, saying he ‘crossed a line.’
“Beyond Djokovic’s intentions, it is not right to organize the tournament while the world suffers from the pandemic,” Pella told Marca Claro Argentina.
“He played with many people’s health and crossed a line from which it will be challenging to return, disrespecting the world of tennis and the entire planet. The leaked videos of him dancing without shirt in a disco do not help at all. I don’t know how he’s going to get out of this.”
US Open in doubt?
The 30-year-old had said earlier in the month that his tennis future is in jeopardy after tennis came to a shuddering halt during the pandemic. Pella, on Tuesday, seemed reluctant about going to the US Open, which is scheduled to start on August 31, 2020.
“We have to see if the circuit would come back after this. It will be tough not to catch the virus at the US Open,” the Argentine said.
“If I go to New York and get it, who will treat me and take over? Is it worth taking the risk? I do not know what to do. If I decide not to go, I have to think about hanging the racket. There are many open questions. I want and need to work; I don’t have Novak Djokovic’s bank account but I am not going to risk my physical integrity or for all the money in the world. I prefer to be healthy than to get infected and spend 60 days in a hospital.”
‘Governments at fault’
Meanwhile, Richard Gasquet has come to Djokovic’s defence, saying it is the governments involved in approving the Balkan tournament that were to blame.
“Djokovic is not the culprit,” the Frenchman was quoted as saying by L’Equipe.
“He didn’t put a gun on the guys’ heads and demand there to be 5,000 spectators. It was the government that chose to accommodate these 5,000 people in one place. But it is sure that all these people, it was delusional …It was the only place in the world where we saw an audience like that.”
Prayers up to all the players that have contracted Covid – 19. Don’t @ me for anything I’ve done that has been ‘irresponsible’ or classified as ‘stupidity’ – this takes the cake. https://t.co/lVligELgID
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) June 23, 2020
The Adria Tour, which featured the likes of Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Andrey Rublev, Marin Cilic and Borna Coric, has come under fire for not following any social distancing protocols.
In fact, pictures and videos of players laughing, hugging and partying emerged from the tournament.
The Tour was cancelled after Djokovic tested positive for Coronavirus on Tuesday.