Spanish club says it mistakenly allowed Djokovic to train

MADRID (AP) — The tennis club where Novak Djokovic broke confinement rules in Spain said on Tuesday it mistakenly allowed the top-ranked Serb to practice and apologised for the error.

Spain has eased some of the lockdown measures that had been in place since mid-March, allowing professional athletes to return to practice, but most training centres and sports facilities must remain closed until next week.

“We are sorry that our interpretation of the regulation could have been erroneous, and this could have inconvenienced Djokovic or any other citizen acting in good faith,” the Puente Romano Marbella Tennis Club said in a statement.

The statement, which was relayed by Djokovic’s management team, said the club received a request from the player to practice and gave him the go-ahead with the “understanding that from May 4 all professional sports players were authorised to train.” The club said it therefore believed he was “permitted to train in our facilities”. It said it later received a “clarification” from the Spanish tennis federation and “both parties have agreed that training should resume” only next week.

Rafael Nadal said he also went to train on a court this week, but he did it on private property because the rules weren’t fully clear to him.

Djokovic recently said he was against taking a vaccine for the coronavirus if it became mandatory to travel once the pandemic subsides, though he later said he was open to changing his mind.

Novak Djokovic. PHOTO: AP