World no.3 Dominic Thiem on Thursday apologised for the disastrous Adria Tour whose final was cancelled on Tuesday after four participants and two coaches had tested positive for COVID-19.
The exhibition series came under scanner after Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov tested positive earlier this week after which two other players - Borna Coric and Victor Troicki - tested positive. Moreover, after Dimitrov's result, a video of players partying after matches went viral implying that social distancing was not followed during the tour. The tour turned disastrous after Djokovic and his wife Jelena tested positive.
Thiem was among the participants and had in fact won the first leg of the Adria Tour in Belgrade, and was lucky to not have contracted the virus. He clarified on his Instagram post that he tested negative five times in the last 10 days.
"I was shocked when I got the news from the Adria Tour. We played without any audience for weeks, so we have been more than happy about the fans at the event. We trusted the Serbian government's corona rules, but we have been too optimistic. Our behaviour was a mistake, we acted too euphorically. I am extremely sorry. I have now got tested for five times within the last ten days and the result was always negative. I will everyone who is infected all the best and a quick recovery," Dominic Thiem said.
After immense criticism, Djokovic, the face of the Adria Tour, came to defend the exhibition series saying that it was a philanthropic notion.
"Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. Our tournament meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region. It was all born with a philanthropic idea, to direct all raised funds towards people in need and it warmed my heart to see how everybody strongly responded to this," Djokovic said in his first statement after contracting the virus