MUMBAI (Reuters) – With professional tennis closed by a new coronavirus pandemic, world number one Novak Djokovic brings together some of the world’s top tennis players for a series of matches which will take place from June 13 to July 5 in the Balkan region.
All pro tennis tours were suspended in early March and will not return before August because countries are locked and closing borders to curb the spread of the virus.
Some players, including Djokovic, have returned to the training ground while maintaining cleanliness and strict social norms, and several fan-less exhibition events have also been held in countries such as Germany and the United States.
“I am proud to officially share the news that #AdriaTour will be held throughout #Balkan June 13 – July 5 which starts with the tournament in Belgrade,” Djokovic, 33, aged 33 on Friday, said in a Twitter post.
“It is very grateful we can realize this to play and support humanitarian projects throughout the region.”
World number three Dominic Thiem from Austria and Grigor Dimitrov from Bulgaria, ranked 19th, have confirmed their participation in the eight-player event which will end with Djokovic’s exhibition match against Bosnian Damir Dzumhur in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Zadar, in Croatia, Montenegro and Banja Luka in Bosnia will be another venue for the match, which will be broadcast on television.
Djokovic, who won the 17th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open 2020, has won 18-0 this year in all matches.
He lifted the ATP Cup with Serbia, won his eighth Australian Open title and then finished his fifth victory at the Dubai Tennis Championship, extending his unbeaten run to 21 matches since last season.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Lincoln Feast.)
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