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They hang Novak Djokovic but broadcast Liverpool celebrations: Tipsarevic blasts media 'hypocrites'

Janko Tipsarevic ( L) and Novak Djokovic
Janko Tipsarevic ( L) and Novak Djokovic
Namit Kumar
Modified 27 Jun 2020

Novak Djokovic has been in the news for all the wrong reasons over the last few days. The controversial Adria Tour, hosted and funded by Novak Djokovic and his family, came to a standstill during its second leg in Zadar, after Grigor Dimitrov tested positive for coronavirus.

The first leg hosted in the Serb's hometown of Belgrade was also marred by controversy as no social distancing norms were in place and the top players were even seen dancing in a nightclub.

ak Djokovic added fuel to the fire after he refused to get tested in Zadar and went back to Belgrade where he tested positive, potentially having carried it across the border. Two other players - Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki - also announced later that they had contracted the dreaded virus.

The tennis world has been abuzz ever since, with critics slamming Novak Djokovic for the ill-timed nature of the Adria Tour. They have also accused him of lacking responsibility and concern; even after the Serb apologized profusely through his social media accounts, there has been no let-up in the backlash.

Novak Djokovic has found very few backers in the tennis community during the debacle, but compatriot and former World No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic has been vocal in his support. Tipsarevic had earlier said he found the criticism of Djokovic to "not be 100% fair", and has now hit out at the critics once again.

'It's a double standard' - Tipsarevic on media criticism of Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic (L) and Grigor Dimitrov
Novak Djokovic (L) and Grigor Dimitrov

Speaking in a recent interview with SportKlub, Tipsarevic said that those criticizing his compatriot didn't know the reality in the Balkans region and are being hypocritical. He paid special attention to critics in the British media, after images emerged of Liverpool fans celebrating their first Premier League title without any social distancing.

"The British media who are now trying to 'hang' Novak are the biggest hypocrites. A photo was recently published on the beaches of England where everyone is close, Liverpool fans celebrating the Premier League title ... In the Bundesliga (German Championship), if someone is positive, he is isolated and everything goes on, but for us there seem to be other rules," said Tipsarevic.
"Dimitrov tested positive and now they're shooting Novak with all possible weapons. It's a double standard, two measures," he continued.

The Serb also hit out at American media members who he believes will not place the USTA and organizers under as much scrutiny as they did Novak Djokovic.

"I would like to see the Americans if ... In fact, not of 'if', but 'when', someone is infected with the US Open , there are about 700 people in the same place. There they are destroying Novak, but what will happen to the US Open if one, two or even three players test positive? Will they cancel it, will they test the 700 people?" Tipsarevic questioned.

The former top 10 player did bring up some valid points. It now remains to be seen how the organizers and the media tackle the rest of the events on the tennis calendar, in case any COVID-19 cases do emerge there.

Published 27 Jun 2020, 22:10 IST
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