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Tennis Star Djokovic Confirmed to Have COVID-19


Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball during a match in Zadar, Croatia, June 21, 2020.
Tennis Star Djokovic Confirmed to Have COVID-19
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The number one player in men’s tennis, Novak Djokovic, announced Tuesday that he and his wife have COVID-19. The announcement came days after the tennis star played in a series of matches in Serbia and Croatia.

The series, which Djokovic organized, was held as many countries tried to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Social distancing rules were not enforced at the sporting event.

Djokovic is the fourth player from the series to be test positive for the virus.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Djokovic said, “I am 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.”

In this picture taken June 19, 2020, Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, fourth left, stands with other players at a tournament in Zadar, Croatia.
In this picture taken June 19, 2020, Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, fourth left, stands with other players at a tournament in Zadar, Croatia.

Djokovic has been in the news several times in connection to the coronavirus health crisis. In April, the tennis star was criticized for saying he would not want to get a vaccine for the virus so that he could compete professionally.

In May, when he was staying in Spain, Djokovic broke local rules by playing at a tennis club about a week before it was permitted.

More recently, Djokovic criticized the United States Tennis Association for its plans to try to protect people from the virus during the U.S. Open. He questioned its effort to limit the number of people that can travel with players. He even said he did not know whether he would take part in the event in New York.

The U.S. Open is set to begin August 31 without crowds watching the action in person. The French Open — postponed from May — is supposed to start on September 27.

The Adria Tour that Djokovic organized was meant to raise money to help those affected by COVID-19. People filled stadiums to watch the matches. Players met with tennis fans and each other without any effort to stay a safe distance apart. Djokovic and other players were seen hugging each other and going to night clubs and restaurants.

Djokovic said in his statement, “We organized the tournament at the moment when the virus has weakened, believing that the conditions for hosting the Tour had been met.”

Djokovic is not showing signs of COVID-19. The tennis star says he will remain in self-isolation for 14 days.

I'm Jill Robbins.

The Associated Press reported this story. Ashley Thompson adapted it for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

match - n. a contest between two or more players or teams

positive - adj. the result from a test that shows that a particular germ, condition, or substance is present

complicate - v. to make (something) more difficult or less simple

professionally - adv. by someone who has the special education, training, or skill that is required to do a particular job

club - n. a group of people who meet to participate in an activity (such as a sport or hobby)

hug - v. to put your arms around someone especially as a way of showing love or friendship

host - v. to be the host for (a social event, a group of people, etc.)

tour - n. a series of related performances, appearances, competitions, etc., that occur at different places over a period of time

self-isolation - n. the state of being in a place or situation that is separate from others

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