Tennis star Novak Djokovic is snapping back at some of his critics and claiming he was the subject of a "witch hunt" after several players tested positive for COVID-19 during the Adria Tour tournament in June. The Adria Tour, which Djokovic helped plan, was eventually canceled after multiple players tested positive for the coronavirus.
"I can only see criticism lately and much of it is malicious," Djokovic told Serbia's Sportski Zurnal on Wednesday. "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."
Djokovic and his wife, Jelena, both tested positive for the coronavirus in late June following the Adria Tour. The two isolated in Croatia and didn't show any symptoms before testing negative for COVID-19 last week. In addition, Borna Coric, Grigor Dimitrov and Viktor Troicki -- all of whom played in the exhibitions alongside Djokovic-- also tested positive for COVID-19.
No social distancing measures were enforced during the Adria Tour matches that Djokovic organized in Croatia and Serbia, even though players travelled from all over the world to participate in the events. Off the court, videos surfaced in June of Djokovic and several European tennis stars, including Coric and Dimitrov, partying at a Serbian nightclub days before Dimitrov confirmed that he tested positive for the coronavirus.
Dojokovic believes that many had an an "agenda" against him after the high number of positive COVID-19 tests at the tournament.
"My intention was pure, I was wholeheartedly committed to organizing a humanitarian event to help players and tennis federations in the [Balkan] region," Djokovic added. "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."
Djokovic also told Sportski Zurnal that he is not sure if he's going to participate in the US Open later this summer in New York.
"I still haven't decided whether I will play in the US Open, the upsurge in registered COVID-19 cases in the United States and New York in particular are not playing into the event's hands," he said.