The backlash to tennis World No. 1 Novak Djokovic’s part in the Adria Tour debacle has turned sinister with ugly messages painted on walls in Croatia.
The tour had several top ranked players with Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coria, Viktor Troicki and Djokovic himself testing positive for the virus, while his wife Jelena and tennis legend coach Goran Ivanisevic have also contracted the virus.
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Djoker slammed for partying
Even worse for Djokovic, who organised the event for his charity with spectators and crowds encouraged, images of the star and the other playerspartying topless in a Belgrade nightclub circulated.
It’s also laid bare the Djokovic’s controversial beliefs as the world took aim at the World No. 1.
But the criticism has turned very dark with graffiti in Croatia seemingly threatening the star.
Horrific graffiti has been directed at Djokovic. From @BATennisCom on Twitter.Source: Twitter
According to RT.com, the graffiti translates as “Djokovic, die. Our wish is that you die. Greetings from Split. Die.“
The sinister message comes after Djokoci’s mother Dijana spoke out against social media trolls.
“It is terrible and scary what they write, but we are used to it. It was as if they could hardly wait. They are obviously bothered by Novak,” Dijana told Blick.
“We all feel good, as do the two of them. Just because Novak is positive doesn’t mean he’s sick.
“He is young and healthy man, so it is easier to bear. After all, I think this virus is coming to an end, so these are just some of the “tails” of the crown and that aren’t as strong as they were at the beginning. That is why they feel as good as we do.”
It comes as Djokovic was slammed by all corners with fellow players, media and fans all taking aim at the Serbian superstar.
Veteran Aussie journalist Peter FitzSimons called for Djokovicto stand down from his roles as the ATP Players Council president after the scandal, a call that was parroted by former Roger Federer coach Paul Annacone.
The coach has also called on Federer and Nadal as part of the 10-strong group on the player council to hold Djokovic to account.
Not a good look in hindsight.Source: AP
“There’s 10 people on the council; they should figure how they feel about it,” Annacone told Sports Illustrated.
“You have 500 players around the world on razor’s edge, hoping they can play in eight weeks (at the US Open). Every action has a consequence.
“I think there’s a lot of his peer group who are scratching their heads,” he added.
“His passion to do something good clouded all the information, all the science.
“It was a good cause, driven by the right reason, but the end result was pretty disastrous.”
Throughout the criticism, Djokovic immediately apologised on social media after the positive tests.
“I am so deeply sorry our tournament has caused harm,” he wrote. “Everything the organisers 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 how sorry I am for this and every case of infection.”
Djokovic’s former coach and legend Boris Becker admitted while some of the antic painted an ugly picture, the hatred towards the 33-year-old “unfair”.
“I want to defend Novak a little,” Becker told The Telegraph. “I think the criticism he gets is unfair, and that the reason everybody showed up was the right one.
“Yes, the partying and the basketball perhaps weren’t necessary. But I used to be 30 years old, and when I see my friends I like to enjoy myself.”
With German star Alexander Zverev the latest player to be slammed for breaking quarantine from the Adria Tour cluster after being pictured partying in the French Riviera despite promising to self-isolate after the tour fallout.
He was swiftly slammed by Aussie star Nick Kyrgios and much of the tennis world for the move.