Argentinian tennis star Diego Schwartzman has blasted the governing body of American tennis over their decision to exclude two players from the Western and Southern Open.
The world No.13 says ‘almost 100 percent’ of players were not happy with the decision to exclude Guido Pella and Hugo Dellien from the tournament based on a policy that they were not told about. Pella and Dellien are currently in quarantine after their physio, Juan Manuel Galvan, tested positive for the COVID -19. Neither player has tested positive themselves and are not sharing a room with Galvan in New York.
This year’s US Open is taking place within a ‘protective bubble’ due to the pandemic with players and their teams restricted as to where they can go. Although the fallout over the quarantine of Pella and Dellien is because the move seemingly contradicts advice that was previously given to players. According to world No.1 Novak Djokovic, who is also the president of the Player’s Council, he said they were told by a ‘chief medical doctor’ via a zoom call that that players can still participate in the tournament if their trainers test positive as long as they are not sharing a room.
“What happened with Pella I took it very badly. I am not going to be a hypocrite, it must be said. 95 percent, or almost 100 percent of the players took it very badly. We have had a lot of private talks with people who organized the protocols, with people from the USTA, and they lied to our faces,” Schwartzman said following his first round win on Sunday.
“They (tournament officials) said that there would be no retaliation for anyone who tested positive. We already know that it is not easy at all, that the entire tournament itself is put at risk, and of course it could have happened to me or anyone, as it happened to Guido.’
“The mistake here is that Pella, Dellien and José (Acasuso, Pella’s coach) tested negative for the fourth time and Titan (Galván) did not test it again after testing positive, “said the world number 13.”
Schwartzman says his view is one that also has the support of the ATP although it is unclear as to who exactly he is referring to from the organisation. He argues that checks should be in place to ensure that there are no false positive tests. The 28-year-old isn’t the only top name to criticise the handling of the matter. Others to also weigh in include Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Andy Murray. Meanwhile, Spanish newspaper March previously reported that a player petition was organised but it is unclear as to what happened with it.
“There are many people who tested for a false positive. We talked about it with ATP people and they agree with what I am saying, but this is a decision of the USTA or the Department of Health and they do not want to test it again, it is something that I cannot understand,” said Schwartzman.
“The situation they are going through after testing negative for the fourth time is very unfair. It seems to me that it was mishandled.”
Due to their quarantine, Pella’s and Dellien’s US Open chances have been dealt a severe blow. As a result of their restrictions, they may not be able to train for the Grand Slam until a day before it begins at best. Leaving them with the prospect of having to play a best-of-five match with minimal training.
Chris Widmaier serves as the USTA’s head of communications and recently defended the process during an email exchange with ESPN. In a statement he says ‘individuals in close contact with the infected individual must quarantine for 14 days’ and it is not a ‘discretionary decision.’ Although there was no comment about the allegation that players have been misled over the rules.
What have the other players said?
“Some of the players were saying, ‘Well, I wouldn’t have come with a trainer or a physio if I knew that was the case.’ I’m not saying that it’s not the right decision, but the players were not clear as to what the rules actually were.” – Andy Murray
“On a Zoom call a few weeks ago we got information from the chief medical doctor of the USTA that if a player is not sharing a room with his coach, or his physio, or anyone from his team that is infected, and his [own] results are negative, he can still compete in the tournament.” – Novak Djokovic
“If most of these players are negative, which is the case, and I think they had three negative tests after already the physio of them was positive, I think they should play. And that’s what the majority of players think, I think, 99%.” – Daniil Medvedev
Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days
The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.
The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.
Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.
There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.
“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”
Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.
“Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.
Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.
“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.
Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.
Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win
Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.
Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.
This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.
“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”
The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.
Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.
This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.
Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells
The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…
Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.
It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.
Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.
” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.
Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.
In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.
Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.
Simona Halep cruises through to the second round with a straight-set win over Anastasia Potapova in Moscow
Andy Murray battles past Frances Tiafoe in a marathon match in Antwerp
Jenson Brooksby upsets Reilly Opelka to boost his chance to qualify for the Next Gen Finals in Milan
Ekaterina Alexandrova moves into the second round at the Kremlin Cup after Ons Jabeur’s retirement due to injury
Kim Clijsters Still Capable Of Top-Level Wins, Says Former world No.1 Murray
REPORT: Unvaccinated Players Set To Be Banned From Playing Australian Open
Injured Roger Federer Says The ‘Worst Is Behind Him’ As He Targets Comeback In 2022
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