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International

Djokovic Appears to Break Confinement Rules in Spain

MADRID — Novak Djokovic apparently broke confinement rules in Spain by going back to a tennis court on Monday.

Djokovic posted a video on Instagram showing him exchanging shots with another man at a tennis club in the coastal city of Marbella, where the Serb has reportedly stayed.

Djokovic filmed the video while hitting shots and wrote he was "so happy to play on clay .. well, just for a bit with my phone in the hands."

Spain on Monday loosened some of the lockdown measures that had been in place since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic, allowing professional athletes to return to practice. But sports facilities are supposed to remain closed at least until next week in most parts of the country, with the exception of training centers for teams in professional leagues in sports such as soccer.

The Spanish tennis federation said in a statement on Monday that professional players in Spain were allowed to exercize by themselves or with a coach, but not yet on a tennis court. It said it would work on a set of guidelines to inform players and clubs about what they would be permitted to do beginning next week.

The federation's statement did not appear to be related to Djokovic's appearance on the court in Marbella.

Requests for comment made to the federation and to Djokovic's staff late on Monday were not immediately answered.

It was not clear if Djokovic, the reigning AustraliA would be subjected to fines or sanctions if it was confirmed he broke the lockdown rules. 

The No. 1-ranked Djokovic recently said he was against taking an anti-coronavirus vaccination if it became mandatory to travel once the pandemic subsides, though he later said he was open to changing his mind.

Spain was one of the hardest hit countries by the pandemic but it started loosening some of its restrictions on movement as the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 started to go down in recent weeks. The country went into a lockdown on March 14.

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