Dominic Thiem’s agent Herwig Straka says Novak Djokovic should be the pointman when it comes to taking blame for the Adria Tour’s careless handling of public safety and the positive Covid-19 cases that emerged from the first two weekends of the now cancelled event.
“Yes. In retrospect, it is clear that it was nonsense,” he said in an interview with “Der Standard”. “Even if it was allowed. Everyone knows it was stupid, no public apology helps. The only one who has to apologize is Djokovic because he staged everything. The others were just there, didn’t kill anyone.”
Thiem took to social media to apologize today. “Our behavior was a mistake, we acted to euphorically,” he wrote.
Straka, who is the tournament director of the Erste Bank Open in Vienna and also a tournament representative on the ATP’s Board of Directors, said that Djokovic let good common sense get in the way of good intentions.
“You have to assign Djokovic the main share of the blame,” he said. “Okay, the others took part, but he was very behind it. Originally from honorable motives, the focus was on the charity concept. But it went in the wrong direction, was misused as a publicity show. You have to blame Djokovic for that.”
Straka said he pushed for clear social distancing guidelines and was later disappoint when monitoring the event to see that they hadn’t been kept.
Dominic #Thiem‘s manager tells @SportStandardAt reg #AdriaTour: “I insisted on receiving their COVID-19 regulations. 2 days prior to the event it was said that there will be 1000 fans max., social distancing guaranteed. They didn’t hold up to that.”https://t.co/9SaLhS0nLR
— Lukas Zahrer (@ZahrerLukas) June 25, 2020
“In advance, I insisted that we get clear Covid-19 guidelines,” he said. “It was urgent that a maximum of 1,000 spectators are allowed to come, social distancing was guaranteed. I only released Dominic under these conditions. That was two days before. You didn’t stick to it, it was annoying to me.”