Novak Djokovic has complained that he is being targeted as a tennis villain after his Adria Tour exhibition series took barely a week to morph into a fertile COVID-19 breeding ground.
The world No. 1 who also confessed that he has no idea if he will bother to play the virus-threatened US Open from August 31, told Serbia’s Sport Journal that critics throughout the sport are piling on after his series was cancelled due to virus infections.
Participants including Djokovic and his wife plus players Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki all tested positive for the virus last month; the event was called off after just two weekends of play.
“Lately I have seen only criticism, and a lot of it malicious,” Djokovic lamented.
“This is obviously something more than just criticism, (it’s) like there is an agenda, a witch-hunt.
“Like someone has to fall, some big name to be the main culprit for everything.”
Djokovic’s event exploded in his face with cancellation of the final two legs in Montenegro and Bosnia after the virus took hold among the group in Belgrade and a week later in Croatia.
Djokovic is reportedly back at practice from this week as he and his team struggle to work out a playing schedule when the Tour resumes in mid-August.
It is likely that few of the events crammed into a six-week span will be entered by more than a few main players, especially with the first three weeks set in the virus-ridden US.
At the moment, Djokovic appears to be leaning towards skipping the US Open while playing the French starting on September 27.
“I still don’t know whether I will play at the US Open. I certainly won’t play Washington; Cincinnati is planned,” he said.
“Participation in Roland-Garros is safe for now, and Madrid and Rome are also planned.”