Andy Murray criticized world No. 1 Novak Djokovic for hosting the Adria Tour exhibition tournament without taking any precautions after the Serb and three other players tested positive for the coronavirus.
Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki also had positive results after playing in the Balkan tournament, where players were seen hugging on the net, playing basketball, posing for photos and parties.
Murray said he expected the positive players and family members to recover soon, adding that the tournament should not have gone ahead in hindsight.
“Obviously it is not surprising how many players have tested positive when you see the scenes and images and videos from the tournament and the players party with no social distance,” he said Tuesday.
“I have seen some people say that this casts doubt on the US Open, but the measures and protocols they have are completely different from what was happening in Serbia and Croatia.”
“To begin with, there will be no fans and the players will now know that we can all be affected by this, no matter who you are, we must abide by the rules.”
The players, however, did not break any government protocol in Serbia or Croatia with both countries, easing the blocking measures weeks before the event.
Murray enjoyed a winning return to action on Tuesday when he beat Liam Broady in the “Battle of the British” charity tournament at the National Tennis Center in West London.
The two-time Wimbledon champion and former world No. 1 achieved a 6-2 6-2 victory over the British No. 6 in his first competitive match since the Davis Cup finals in November.
The weeklong event, hosted by Murray’s brother Jamie, while professional tennis is suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, is being played behind closed doors with strict health protocols.
While there were chair umpires, the players collected their own balls and towels and did not change ends. The event is raising money for the British National Health Service.
There were also victories in London for British No. 1 Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund on opening day. Murray will face Edmund in his next all-out match.
“It was good, I served well throughout the game,” added Murray. “He didn’t hit the ball that well from the back of the court, he wasn’t timing the ball well.”
“For a first game in seven months and I hadn’t been practicing much, it was fine.”
“The last time I picked up my own balls was when I was 17. Although we do it all the time in practice.”
The ATP Tour was halted in early March when nations closed borders and imposed blockades to stem the spread of the new coronavirus. Last week, the women’s ATP and WTA released revised calendars for the circuit resumption starting in August.