(Reuters) - World number one Novak Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, days after he hosted a number of players in the Adria Tour exhibition tournament in the Balkan region.
Djokovic was criticised for hosting the tournament amid a pandemic after Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki also returned positive tests after playing in the tournament that was held in Serbia and Croatia.
Following is a list of quotes from the 17-times Grand Slam champion on tennis, the pandemic, vaccines and more:
Djokovic on testing positive for COVID-19 (June 23):
“The moment we arrived in Belgrade we went to be tested. My result is positive, just as (wife) Jelena’s, while the results of our children are negative.
“I’m extremely sorry for each individual case of infection. I hope that it will not complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine. I will remain in self-isolation for the next 14 days, and repeat the test in five days.”
Djokovic on mandatory coronavirus vaccinations (April 19):
“Personally I’m opposed to vaccination and I wouldn’t want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel.
“But if it becomes compulsory, what will happen? I’ll have to make a decision. I have my own thoughts about the matter and whether those thoughts will change at some point, I don’t know.”
Djokovic on the power of positive emotions (May 6):
“This is something that is not linked to any form of official way of presenting nutrition and how you should eat and drink.
“I know some people that, through energetic transformation, through the power of prayer, through the power of gratitude, they managed to turn the most toxic food, or maybe most polluted water into the most healing water.
“Scientists have proven that in (an) experiment, that molecules in the water react to our emotions to what has been said.”
Djokovic on the U.S. Open’s strict protocols (June 6):
“The rules that they told us that we would have to respect to be there, to play at all, they are extreme. We would not have access to Manhattan, we would have to sleep in hotels at the airport, to be tested twice or three times per week.
“Also, we could bring one person to the club which is really impossible. I mean, you need your coach, then a fitness trainer, then a physiotherapist.”
Djokovic on staging an exhibition tournament in Serbia amid the pandemic (June 12):
“We have different circumstances and measures (to other countries) so it’s very difficult to think of international standards (regarding the pandemic).
“We’ve had better numbers compared to some other countries. Of course, lives have been lost and that’s horrible to see, in the region and worldwide. But life goes on and we as athletes are looking forward to competing.
“You can also criticise us and say this is maybe dangerous but it’s not up to me to make the calls what is right or wrong health-wise. We are doing what the Serbian government is telling us and hopefully we soon will get back on tour collectively.”
Djokovic on the prospect of the U.S. Open going ahead and the ATP Tour’s resumption (June 18):
“Hopefully every single player who is participating, chosen by ranking and who deserves their place at the U.S. Open, will have an equal opportunity to travel there and compete as everybody else.
“I’m extremely happy and excited to see that all the tournaments, especially Grand Slams, are organising their events.
“I think that a lot of people were sceptical, especially for the U.S. events considering what the U.S. went through as a country during this pandemic. So a lot of people, including myself, were quite sceptical on whether it would happen or not.”
Compiled by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge
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