World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has said that he is still not sure of participating in the US Open and that there is a “witch-hunt” against him after the events of his ill-fated Adria Tour. Also Read - Novak Djokovic Beats Diego Schwartzman to Win Italian Open 2020
Djokovic had recently tested negative in his second test for coronavirus after the first test returned positive. Also Read - Tennis | US Open 2020 Final: Dominic Thiem Beats Alexander Zverev in Marathon Five-setter to Claim First Grand Slam Title
“I can only see criticism lately and much of it is malicious,” Djokovic told Wednesday”s issue of Serbian daily Sportski Zurnal. Also Read - US Open 2020 Results: Naomi Osaka Beats Victoria Azarenka in Women's Singles Final to Lift Her Second Title at Flushing Meadows, Clinches Her Third Grand Slam Overall
“It’s obviously more than just criticism, it’s like an agenda and a witch-hunt are on. Someone has to take the fall, a big name,” he said.
The Adria Tour was a series of tournaments across the Baltic countries that had eased social-distancing norms. The matches featured packed stadia and little to no social-distancing rules were followed.
However, the second leg in the Croatian city of Zadar had to be abandoned half-way through the event after four players, including Djokovic, tested positive for Covid-19.
Djokovic and the organisers have since come under severe criticism for the way the tournament was held. Serbia had apologised a few days after the tournament was canceled, admitting that it was too soon to be hold matches in this manner.
“My intention was pure, I was whole-heartedly committed to organising a humanitarian event to help the players and the tennis federations in the (Balkan) region,” he said.
“We complied with all the laws and regulations. But we’ve learned our lessons and some things could have probably been done in a different way,” he added.
Djokovic said that the upsurge in cases in the US does not spell well for the US Open. “I still haven’t decided whether I will play in the US Open. The upsurge in registered Covid-19 cases in the US and New York in particular are not playing into the event’s hands,” he said.
(With agency inputs)