Ivanisevic, the coach of Djokovic, tests positive for COVID-19

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ZAGREB, Croatia — Former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, who now coaches Novak Djokovic and attended the top-ranked player’s exhibition series in Serbia and Croatia, said Friday he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Croatian great, who won his only Grand Slam title at the All England Club in 2001, wrote on Instagram that he tested positive after two negative tests in the last 10 days.

“I would like to inform everyone who has been in contact with me that I tested positive and ask them to take extra good care of themselves and their loved ones,” Ivanisevic wrote. “I will continue to self-isolate as I have been doing already.”

Ivanisevic, who said he has no symptoms, attended the Adria Tour exhibition series, a charity event hosted by Djokovic in Belgrade and at the Adriatic resort of Zadar in Croatia.

Four players from those events, including Djokovic and his wife, have said they have the virus. Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki all said they also have it.

Thousands of spectators attended the matches in Belgrade and Zadar, and no social distancing was observed.

Dominic Thiem, who won the opening event in Belgrade on June 14, said Thursday that he has been tested five times but is negative.

The final for the event in Croatia was canceled and subsequent matches in other countries were also called off.

Djokovic, a 17-time Grand Slam champion who has previously said he was against taking a vaccine for the virus even if it became mandatory to travel, said on Tuesday it was “too soon” to host such an event.

The coronavirus outbreak led to the suspension of the ATP and WTA professional tennis tours in March. Plans were announced last week for the sport’s sanctioned events to return in August.

But the infections have raised questions about the full-fledged return of competitive tennis, including the U.S. Open, which is scheduled to begin on Aug. 31 without spectators. Djokovic has called the rules to keep everyone safe at the U.S. Open “extreme.”

Top-seeded Sakkari reaches semifinals at Parma Ladies Open

Maria Sakkari
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PARMA, Italy — Top-seeded Maria Sakkari rallied past 97th-ranked Maryna Zanevska 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday at the Parma Ladies Open to reach her first semifinal since the grass-court season.

Sakkari, who has gone three sets in all three of her matches this week, will face Danka Kovinic for a spot in the final of the clay-court event after Kovinic beat Jasmine Paolini 6-4, 6-4.

In her previous semifinal, Sakkari lost to Belinda Bencic in Berlin in June. The seventh-ranked Greek player was eliminated by Wang Xiyu in the second round of the U.S. Open on Aug. 31.

In the bottom half of the draw, Mayar Sherif of Egypt beat American opponent Lauren Davis 7-6 (2), 6-3 to reach her second career semifinal. Sherif next faces Ana Bogdan, who defeated fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-2, 7-6 (6).

Sakkari through to Parma Open quarterfinals; Stephens loses

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PARMA, Italy — Top-seeded Maria Sakkari rallied past Arantxa Rus 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Parma Ladies Open.

Sakkari, who accepted a late wild card to the red clay court tournament, was playing her first event since losing to Wang Xiyu in the second round of the U.S. Open.

The Greek player will next face Maryna Zanevska of Belgium after she eased past Dalma Galfi 6-1, 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Sloane Stephens of the United States, the 2017 U.S. Open champion, lost to Danka Kovinic 7-5, 2-6, 7-5.

Kovinic will face Jasmine Paolini in the quarterfinals after the Italian defeated compatriot Elisabetta Cocciaretto 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

There will be an American in the final eight, however, as Lauren Davis rallied to beat Sara Sorribes Tormo 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. Sorribes Tormo had eliminated second-seeded Martina Trevisan in straight sets in the opening round.

Davis will play Mayar Sherif after the Egyptian player defeated Simona Waltert 6-3, 7-6 (1).

Also, third-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania eased past Italian wild card Matilde Paoletti 6-4, 6-4 to set up a quarterfinal against sixth-seeded Ana Bogdan, who beat Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.