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Novak Djokovic has set ‘poor example’ running tennis exhibition events, says Dan Evans

Criticism: Novak Djokovic with volunteers and players after the tournament PICTURE: AP

DAN EVANS has delivered a withering verdict on Novak Djokovic and his exhibition events, saying the world No.1 should ‘feel some responsibility’ because Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric tested positive for Covid-19 after taking part.

The pair were in the field for the second leg of the Adria Tour in Croatia, where the relaxation of lockdown rules meant the players did not social distance.The events, organised by Djokovic, saw players in close contact both on and off court, and British No.1 Evans said: ‘I don’t think you should be having a players’ party and dancing all over each other and then two very good players test positive. He should feel some responsibility for his event and how it has transpired. It is a poor example to set, even if the guidelines in that country are not two metres. It is not a joke, is it?

‘There has been a total disregard for that. It’s very unfortunate Grigor has [the virus], Coric has it. But, if you strip it back, is it a surprise? That is the question we should all ask. I hope there is no second-guessing now on the US Open because of [these] unfortunate events.’

Andy Murray also commented, saying: ‘Once you start having mass gatherings with people coming in from all sorts of countries, it’s a recipe for it to kick off. It’s a lesson for all of us, if we weren’t already, to take this extremely seriously.’