Kristina Mladenovic Removed From US Open And Placed Under Quarantine By Nassau County - UBITENNIS
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Kristina Mladenovic Removed From US Open And Placed Under Quarantine By Nassau County

Local health officials have stepped in and barred a series of players from Flushing Meadows in an unprecedented move.

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The top seeds in this year’s US Open women’s doubles draw has been withdrawn from the competition due to one of them being in close contact with Benoit Paire.

 

Kristina Mladenovic, along with her partner Timea Babos, unexpectedly disappeared from Saturday’s order of play where they were scheduled to play Gabriela Dabrowski and Alison Riske. The Frenchwoman is one of 11 players currently living in what is being described as a ‘bubble inside a bubble’ after being in contact with Paire, who tested positive for COVID-19 a week ago. Although he has since tested negative.

The removal of Mladenovic comes a day after Adrian Mannarino was almost prevented from playing his clash with Alexander Zverev. There was a lengthy delay to the match following discussions between the USTA and New York health officials, who wanted Mannarino to not play. Although he was eventually allowed to take to the court most likely due to the fact he was already on site and had been warming up for the match.

Although New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has decided not to give a special mission to Mladenovic. The USTA have confirmed that she has been placed into quarantine by Nassau County and will not be allowed to leave her room for the reminder of the quarantine period. The tournament are obligated to follow rules set out by local authorities.

“Public health officials of Nassau county, N.Y., have issued quarantine notices for all individuals who had previously close contact with a person who previously tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus,” The USTA said in a statement.
“As the players are staying in Nassau County, the quarantine notices prevents any of these individuals from committing to the Billie Jean Tennis Center in New York City, The USTA is obligated to adhere to government guidance at the state, city and county level.’
“All persons who were identified as having prolonged close contact with the infected player will quarantine in their room for the remainder of the period. Kristina Mladenovic is one of these individuals, and as the women’s doubles competition has begun, the team of Mladenovic and Timea Babos has been withdrawn from the US Open.”

Mladenovic is currently staying in the players hotel which is located in Nassau County. Meaning the ruling by officials overrides the existing agreement the US Open, which is located in Queen’s, had in New York.

The development comes after the 27-year-old blasted officials at the tournament over the new ‘bubble in bubble’ policy. Originally she was only allowed to play after signing a new waiver that limits her movement around the site. It is unclear as to why there has been a sudden change.

“I have the impression we are prisoners or criminals,” she said following her second round loss on Wednesday. “For even the slightest movement, we have to ask permission even though we are tested every day and had 37 negatives. It’s abominable. The conditions are atrocious.”

It is understood that all of those who have been in close contact with Paire are not allowed to exit the bubble until September 11th regardless of if they are in the tournament or not. Besides Mladenovic, Gregoire Barrere, Richard Gasquet, Adrian Mannarino, Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Ysaline Bonaventure and Kirsten Flipkens have been placed under the tighter restrictions. Meaning they will also not be allowed leave their rooms over the coming days.

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Marin Cilic wins his first title since Queen’s 2018

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Marin Cilic claimed the 19th ATP Tour title of his career and his first since Queen’s 2018 with a 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 win over Felix Auger Aliassime  after 1 hour and 50 minutes in the final of the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart. 

 

Cilic won 100% of his first-serve points in three of his five matches and did not drop a set this week. 

The Croatian star is not 3-3 in grass court finals and 19-14 in his overall title matches. 

Both Cilic and Auger Aliassime saved three break points in their first service games. Cilic converted his ninth break point to take a 6-5 lead in the 11th game. Cilic was not able to serve out the first set, but he cruised through the tie-break 7-2, when Auger Aliassime hit a forehand long. 

The second set went on serve in the first seven games. Auger Aliassime won 64% of his first-service points, while Cilic claimed 90% of his second serve points. Cilic earned the only break of the second set in the eighth game to seal the second set 6-3. 

Cilic will play at Queen’s next week. 

“It was a very important win. I played two semifinals and did not win a title since 2018, also on grass at Queen’s. Winning here brings out joy for me, good confidence and a good feeling. Experience plays a big part, especially on grass. The conditions can be difficult, the court plays quite quick. I felt this was a good chance for me to give it my all, keep my intensity. Even though  some games were up and others down, that was a big part of my victory today”, said Cilic. 

Auger Aliassime has dropped to 0-8 in his eight ATP Tour Finals. “Today I am not facing a final. I am facing Marin Cilic. It is two different things. There has been times when I have not played my best then I felt I was not playing well, but this time around, I felt like it was close, but overall I think he was a better player overall”, said Auger Aliassime. 

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Felix Auger Aliassime sets up Stuttgart final against Marin Cilic

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Felix Auger Aliassime beat Sam Querrey 6-4 7-5 in 80 minutes to advance to the eighth ATP Tour Final of his career at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart without dropping a set this week. 

 

Auger Aliassime did not face a break point and hit seven aces. The Canadian Next Gen converted his first break point in the ninth game to claim the first set 6-4. 

The 20-year-old Canadian rising star won 89% of his first service points before earning a break point at 6-5 to seal the win. He lost to Matteo Berrettini in the 2019 final in Stuttgart. 

Auger Aliassime will face 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, who won the first set 6-3 before Jurij  Rodionov, before the Austrian wild card was forced to withdraw from the match at 0-1 due to an injury problem at the start of the second set. 

“I am feeling really good and very excited to be in the final after quite a period that I didn’t reach a final. I think this was very positive week. I have played good tennis, served very well. Considering it is a shorter season, with one week less. It was great to play this week. Losing to Roger Federer gave me more time to prepare for the week. I have not enjoyed being at a tournament so much in a long period of time, because it is the first time my son, my wife and I are together at one tournament. The set up in Stuttgart is really nice. There is a lot of grass and open space aroung the hotel for my sonto play and it is so much fun having them around”, said Cilic. Cilic leads 2-0 in his head-to-head matches against Auger Aliassime. They will play their first match on grass. 

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Barbora Krejcikova reaches both singles and doubles final at Roland Garros

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Barbora Krejcikova has qualified for the singles and doubles finals at Roland Garros this weekend, as she and Katerina Siniakova claimed a 6-1 6-2 win over Magda Linette and Bernarda Pera. 

 

Krejcikova has the chance to become the first player to win both the women’s singles and doubles titles at Roland Garros since Mary Pierce claimed both tournaments in 2000. Serena Williams is the most recently player to win both the singles and doubles titles at any Grand Slam tournament, at Wimbledon 2016.

The Czech team will take on Bethanie Mattek Sands froand last year’s Roland Garros singles champion Iga Swiatek, who beat Irina Camelia Begu and Nadia Podoroska 6-3 6-4. Swiatek reached the quarter final this year in the singles tournament. Krejcikova and Siniakova have qualified for both Grand Slam women’s doubles finals this season. They lost to Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka at the 2021 Australian Open last February. 

Krejcikova and Siniakova are bidding to win their second Roland Garros women’s doubles title. 

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