Tennis can return during a pandemic.
Events in London, Charleston and France have shown tennis can continue with stringent measures. Those measures will be even more intense when official competition returns but unfortunately the name of tennis has been dragged through the mud and back again.
Despite different countries being at different stages it is still a global pandemic and to have it announced tournaments will continue in the USA from August around the same time as a complete disregard for social distancing took place during the Adria Tour is baffling.
Novak Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric, Viktor Troicki & Goran Ivanisevic all tested positive for the virus which saw the final cancelled and the event completely cancelled. Social distancing just didn’t take place amongst players or in the crowds full with around 4000 people. Not only did the players test positive but as did Djokovic & Troicki’s wives and a number of coaches let alone people in the crowd.
Players who participated in the event including Marin Cilic, Andrey Rublev and Sascha Zverev announced they would self isolate whilst Dominic Thiem continued to play in Austria and France having played in Belgrade.
The two legs were played in Belgrade (Serbia) and Zadar (Croatia) and the data shows an increase in Covid-19 positive testing.
Not for a moment I am directly saying the increase in positive tests is solely down to the tennis but you can’t rule it out at all. Unfortunately it does give precise location on positive tests and just the country.
Belgrade event was held between 12th-14th of June and since then there has been a spike. 254 tests on the 28th of June was Serbia’s highest (254) since the 30th of April (285).
Croatia event in Zadar was held between the 19th and 21st of June and since then there has been a spike. On the 25th of June, Croatia recorded their highest Covid-19 positive tests (95) since the 1st of April (96).
I am a big believer of you make your own choices to go to events and during a pandemic you can’t just think of yourself but those around you who you may not even know. I also believe opportunities like this for thousands to congregate are wrong and shouldn’t be offered up.
This event should have been held behind closed doors and with players practicing social distancing.
You think by then not much more could go wrong? Well it has…
Sascha Zverev who announced on Twitter he would be doing the self isolating period despite a negative test and deeply apologised for what happened:
Less than a week later, Zverev was spotted partying with hundreds of people…
Speechless. These guys are meant to be role models and promised to see through the 14 day isolation as per WHO recommendations and does this.
Nick Kyrgios who has been consistently hitting the nail on the head with this one had his say on Instagram.
Since this, Boris Becker has for some reason launched an attack on Nick Kyrgios on Twitter…
Boris’ points are invalid. Nick is calling out what is right and what is wrong. Calling him a ‘rat’ is not need. I don’t see what Nick is doing wrong here!
There was a later tweet where Nick said “This is nothing to do with Tennis” and he’s right, this is about doing the right thing and I’m afraid these players haven’t.
Not just what has happened in Belgrade, Zadar and Zverev’s night out but also Dominic Thiem has not covered himself in glory.
If you come in contact (as he did) with someone who tested positive your negative test cannot be taken as that. There is a 14 day isolation period for a reason so Dominic Thiem travelling from Belgrade to France to Austria and back to France to play tennis is madness and he seems to find it funny…
Men’s tennis has been truly dragged through the mud over the last couple of weeks and these top players should be ashamed of their actions.
Over 500,000 people have died from this virus worldwide and sadly the numbers aren’t slowing down anytime soon.
These guys are role models in the biggest individual sport in the world and they’ve let the sport down but more importantly, themselves.