Not surprising to see Djokovic test positive for COVID-19, says Murray
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: PART QUALITY AS INCOMING RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT VIDEO SHOWS: NEWS CONFERENCE WITH ANDY MURRAY, SCREENSHOT OF NOVAK DJOKOVIC'S WRITTEN APOLOGY POSTED ON SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE, RECENT FOOTAGE OF DJOKOVIC AT THE ADRIA TOUR EVENTS IN SERBIA AND CROATIA, STILL PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE EVENT, FILE FOOTAGE OF DJOKOVIC SHOWS: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JUNE 23, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) THREE-TIMES GRAND SLAM CHAMPION, ANDY MURRAY, SAYING: "I hope him and his wife are well and that they recover and that their families and everyone and everyone who's affected by that event is healthy and safe.
But like I said yesterday in hindsight it's not something that obviously should have gone ahead." 2.
WHITE FLASH 3.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) THREE-TIMES GRAND SLAM CHAMPION, ANDY MURRAY, SAYING: (SOUNDBITE CONTINUES OVER TWO REUTERS PHOTOGRAPHS OF DJOKOVIC AND OTHER PLAYERS POSING FOR PHOTOS WITH BALL KIDS) "You know, also it's not surprising really that the players how many people have obviously tested positive when you see like the scenes that were going on there with, you know seeing some of the images and the videos like at the players' party and like the kids' day and things.
You know, there was no social distancing and things like that in place.
And I spoke about it the other day like, you know, we're trying to as best as we can here to do everything properly and everyone is from what I've seen is respecting the rules and I think off the back of… I've seen some people have said that, you know, maybe this sort of puts the U.S. Open in doubt which it may well do but the measures and the protocols that they have in place so far at the USTA is completely different than what was going on in Serbia and Croatia and obviously there will be no fans for a start and I think all of the players now will be extremely aware that we can all be affected by this and coronavirus doesn't care who we are or what we do and we need to respect it and respect the rules." 4.
WHITE FLASH 5.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) THREE-TIMES GRAND SLAM CHAMPION, ANDY MURRAY, SAYING: (SOUNDBITE CONTINUES OVER A REUTERS PHOTOGRAPH OF DJOKOVIC WITH HIS WIFE JELENA, HIS FATHER SRDJAN, HIS MOTHER DIJANA AND HIS BROTHER MARKO IN THE STANDS DURING ADRIA TOUR AT NOVAK TENNIS CENTRE IN BELGRADE, SERBIA ON JUNE 14, 2020) "I don't think it's a good thing.
I think it's something that would have been avoidable and certainly in this country I think we are well aware of how serious the virus is.
So I don't think it's been a great look for tennis.
But you know, like I said the only positive that can come out from something like this is that we make sure that up until it's safe to do so we have these measures in place like social distancing and having no fans and things at the event to limit the risk, basically or reduce the risk as much as possible because, I mean, I don't know about you guys but like I know we're starting to reduce the risk and things have been difficult for everybody the last few months but I mean I really would rather if we can avoid it, avoid having a second spike and having to go back into lockdown for example.
So, you know, I would rather respect the rules or have slightly more strict rules in place for slightly longer to err on the side of caution rather than to start doing whatever too soon." INTERNET (JUNE 23, 2020) (SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE - ACCESS ALL) 6.
VARIOUS OF WRITTEN STATEMENT POSTED ON NOVAK DJOKOVIC'S TWITTER PAGE, READING: "HI EVERYONE - WE'RE BACK IN BELGRADE AND I'VE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 AS WELL AS JELENA.
THE KIDS HAVE TESTED NEGATIVE.
WE WILL REMAIN IN SELF-ISOLATION FOR THE NEXT 14 DAYS AND REPEAT THE TEST IN 5 DAYS.
"I AM SO DEEPLY SORRY OUR TOURNAMENT HAS CAUSED HARM.
EVERYTHING THE ORGANIZERS AND I DID THE PAST MONTH, WE DID WITH A PURE HEART AND SINCERE INTENTIONS.
WE BELIEVED THE TOURNAMENT MET ALL HEALTH PROTOCOLS AND THE HEALTH OF OUR REGION SEEMED IN GOOD CONDITION TO FINALLY UNITE PEOPLE FOR PHILANTHROPIC REASONS.
WE WERE WRONG AND IT WAS TOO SOON.
I CAN'T EXPRESS ENOUGH HOW SORRY I AM FOR THIS AND EVERY CASE OF INFECTION.
"IF YOU ATTENDED THE ADRIA TOUR OR WERE AROUND ANY ATTENDEES PLEASE GET TESTED AND PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING.
FOR THOSE IN BELGRADE AND ZADAR, WE WILL BE SHARING HEALTH RESOURCES IN THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE.
THE REST OF THE TOURNAMENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED AND WE WILL REMAIN FOCUSED ON ALL THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN AFFECTED.
I PRAY FOR EVERYONE'S FULL RECOVERY." ZADAR, CROATIA (JUNE 19, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 7.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC AND BORNA CORIC ARRIVING FOR NEWS CONFERENCE 8.
PLAYERS AT NEWS CONFERENCE INCLUDING CORIC AND GRIGOR DIMITROV (HAT) 9.
PLAYERS, INCLUDING CORIC AND DIMITROV POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHS 11.
BISERKA PETROVIC (MOTHER OF DRAZEN PETROVIC EX NBA PLAYER) GIVES BASKETBALL JERSEY TO DJOKOVIC 12.
GROUP PHOTO BELGRADE, SERBIA (JUNE 12, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 13.
VARIOUS OF DIMITROV (SECOND LEFT) SEATED NEXT TO (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT) ALEXANDER ZVEREV, NOVAK DJOKOVIC AND DOMINIC THIEM AT A NEWS CONFERENCE AHEAD OF THE FIRST LEG OF DJOKOVIC'S ADRIA TOUR 14.
ZVEREV, DJOKOVIC, DIMITROV AND THIEM POSING FOR PHOTOS TOGETHER MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (FILE - FEBRUARY 3, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 15.
VARIOUS OF WORLD NUMBER ONE NOVAK DJOKOVIC POSING WITH AUSTRALIAN OPEN TROPHY AND KISSING TROPHY LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - NOVEMBER 8, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 16.
VARIOUS OF NOVAK DJOKOVIC PRACTISING AHEAD OF ATP TOUR FINALS STORY: Andy Murray on Tuesday (June 23) criticised world number one Novak Djokovic for organising the Adria Tour exhibition tournament in the Balkan region after the Serbian and three other players tested positive for COVID-19.
Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki also returned positive tests after playing in the tournament where players were seen hugging at the net, playing basketball, posing for pictures and attending press conferences together.
Murray said he hoped the players and their family members who tested positive recovered soon and added that the tournament should not have gone ahead in hindsight.
"Obviously it's not surprising how many players have tested positive when you see the scenes and the images and the videos from the tournament and the players party with no social distancing in place," Murray said.
"I've seen some people say this puts the U.S. Open in doubt but the measures and the protocols they have in place are completely different to what was going on in Serbia and Croatia.
"For a start, there will be no fans and the players will now know we can all be affected by this, it doesn't matter who you are, we need to respect the rules." Murray enjoyed a winning return to action as he beat Liam Broady in the 'Battle of the Brits' charity tournament at the national tennis centre in west London.
The twice Wimbledon champion and former world number one eased to a 6-2 6-2 victory over the British number six in his first competitive match since the Davis Cup Finals in November.
The week-long event, organised by Murray's brother Jamie while professional tennis remains suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is being played behind closed doors with strict health protocols in place.
The ATP Tour was halted in early March as nations closed borders and imposed lockdowns to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Last week the ATP and the women's WTA issued revised calendars for the resumption of the circuit from August.
(Production: Tim Hart)