Novak Djokovic hesitated before pulling the trigger on his decision to play the isolated and quarantined two-event US tour, the Serb has revealed.
The top seed and world No. 1 told the New York Times of his dilemma as he prepared for the weekend start of the “Cincinnati” Masters to be played without fans at the US Open’s Flushing Meadows venue.
The Open follows from August 31.
“There were a lot of uncertainties – and there still are a lot of things that are not really clear,” the three-time champion said.
Speculation had swirled all summer after the Serb tested positive for COVID-19 during his ill-starred Adria Tour of the Balkans in June, Djokovic said he made the call a week before arriving in the US, worst-hit of all countries in the pandemic league table (173,000 deaths).
His main objection had been a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon the return to Europe in September – a non-issue now resolved.
“I want to play. I am personally not afraid of being in a risky, dangerous health situation for myself… I’m cautious of course, and I have to be responsible and of course respect the regulations and rules and restrictions as anybody else.
“But things are unpredictable. Anything can happen in the tennis court or off the court.”
Djokovic said his fitness is fine after his light bout with COVID which he said lasted for “four to five days.” His symptoms included fatigue, loss of his sense of smell and very little stamina.
“I’ve done a CT scan of my chest, and OK, everything is clear,” he said. “I’ve done several tests since my negative test for the coronavirus as well before coming to New York.
“I’ve done my blood tests, my urine tests, my stool tests, everything that I possibly can. I’m obviously doing that prevention anyway but of course now more than ever because we don’t really know what we’re dealing with.”