The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause problems in the world of tennis with the top seed of the Forte Village Sardegna Open being forced to withdraw.
Fabio Fognini has moved into isolation after a routine test confirmed that he has contracted the virus. The positive result was announced on Wednesday via a statement issued by the ATP. The world No.16 is currently experiencing mild symptoms and is being monitored by the Tournament Physician and ATP medical team.
“Guys, I have to tell you that this morning I tested positive for Covid-19,” the 33-year-old wrote on Instagram in Italian. “The symptoms are very mild, a little cough and fever, headache … but unfortunately this bad news has arrived.
“I’m already in isolation and I’m convinced that I will recover very soon..”
A contact tracing process is also underway to identify anybody who may have come into contact with Fognini recently. Yesterday he participated in a doubles match in Sardinia along with rising star Lorenzo Musetti who reached the third round of the Italian Masters in August. Musetti is due to play his second round match against Andrea Pellegrino on Thursday morning.
“All the people with whom Fognini was in direct contact were placed in preventive isolation and subjected to new swabs,” the Italian Tennis Federation said in a statement to Reuters.
Fognini was the only top 20 player in the field for the inaugural event which is held on outdoor clay courts. He has been replaced in the draw by Serbian lucky loser Danilo Petrović who defeated Roberto Carbellas Baena 6-1, 6-4, earlier in the day.
‘Serious Breach’ under investigation in Russia
In another development it has been confirmed that the ATP is investigating a player who has reportedly broken COVID-19 protocols at the St Petersburg Open. An ATP 500 event that is featuring five players currently ranked in the world’s top 20. The governing body of men’s tennis hasn’t named the player but said in a statement they are ‘taking this matter extremely seriously.’
“The ATP is aware of an incident regarding a player’s serious breach of protocol relating to COVID-19 at this week’s St. Petersburg Open. Adhering to health and safety protocols is critical to ensure that events take place safely and within guidelines established by local authorities,” the statement reads.
“Players and their support team members are reminded that breaches of protocol can jeopardise an event’s ability to operate and have repercussions for the rest of the Tour. In accordance with the ATP’s Code of Conduct, we are taking this matter extremely seriously and an investigation is underway.”
On Monday it was confirmed that an unnamed player has been withdrawn from the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19. Whilst there was no official confirmation, the only player to withdraw from the draw due to illness was America’s Sam Querrey. New York Times journalist Ben Rothenberg has also reported that Querrey’s wife and baby son has also tested positive.
According to Rothenberg, the Querrey family was told to self-isolate for 14 days in a St. Petersburg hotel but was then told they would be visited by a doctor who could hospitalise them if they were found to have symptoms. Concerned about the latest development and the risk of being separated from their child, the family has fled Russia via private plane to an unnamed European country where they are staying in an AirBNB. A move that is classed as a serious breach of COVID-19 protocols.
There has been no public comment from Querrey and he is said to be keeping his current location secret.
John Isner upsets Andrey Rublev to reach quarterfinals in Madrid
John Isner is into the Madrid quarter-finals after a last set tiebreak win over Andrey Rublev.
The American once again needed three sets and two tiebreakers to earn a top 10 scalp.
John Isner booked his spot in the quarterfinals of the Mutua Madrid Open by upsetting the number six seed Andrey Rublev 7-6, 3-6, 7-6 in two hours and five minutes hitting 43 winners and 29 aces in the win.
“I’ve always served well, the conditions for the server are fantastic, physically I was heavy-legged today, I finished late last night, the good thing is I finished a bit earlier today and I should be ready to go tomorrow, I’m going to need all of my legs tomorrow against Dominic (Thiem) and I’m looking forward to it for sure”.
The first set was pretty routine and we didn’t see a single break of serve the entire set as the first set would be decided by a tiebreaker. That’s where the American ran away with it jumping out to a 4-0 lead playing some great tennis and he would take it 7-4 to win the first set 7-6.
The Russian was keen to get back in the match in the second set and earned the first two breakpoints of the match at 1-1 and broke to take an early 2-1 lead. That break was all the number six seed needed to serve out the second set taking it 6-3 and setting up a deciding third set.
The number six seed once again had the first break opportunity of the third set but it was immediately saved with the big booming serve from the Greensboro, North Carolina native. That was the only breakpoint of the set and once again the match would be decided by a tiebreaker.
This one was much more closer and we didn’t see a break of serve until 4-3 when the American returned the Russian serve with a powerful forehand to take a 5-3 lead.
He would go on to serve it out to win the match and set up a quarterfinal encounter with the Austrian Domenic Them and he spoke about the matchup in his post-match press conference.
“He’s fresh, he’s won two matches and I think he is the second-best clay courter right now so it’s going to be a very tough task for me tomorrow especially on this court because he hits the ball so big and pretty fast and he does so many things well and I am going to have to play extremely well if I want any chance to beat him”
Theim currently holds a 2-1 lead in the head to head and their most recent meeting was back in 2017 in Laver Cup on an indoor hardcourt when the Austrian won in three sets.
Christian Garin reaches his second career Masters 1000 quarter final in Madrid
Chile’s Christian Garin has reached his second Masters 1000 quarter final with a 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 6-1 win over world number 3 Danil Medvedev at the Madrid Mutua Open.
Garin earned an early break after a loose service game from Medvedev at 1-1. The second set went on serve with no breaks of serve en route to the tie-break. Medvedev cruised through to a 7-3 win with two mini-breaks. Garin broke twice in the fourth and sixth games to claim the third set 6-1.
Garin will face either this year’s Serbian Open champion Matteo Berrettini or Federico Delbonis. The Chilean player is tied at 1-1 in his two head-to-head matches against Berrettini and won his only previous match against Delbonis en route to last year’s title at the Rio Open. Garin won all his five titles on clay in Houston and Munich in 2019, Rio de Janeiro and Cordoba in 2020 and Santiago de Chile in 2021.
Jannik Sinner Vows To ‘Come Back Stronger’ After Madrid Misfortune
The 19-year-old believes his latest loss will help him grow as a player.
Italian rising star Jannik Sinner has revealed that he was suffering from an allergy during his latest match at the Madrid Open but has insisted it wasn’t the reason for his loss.
The world No.18 crashed out of the tournament in straight sets on Wednesday to Australia’s Alexi Popyrin. A player ranked 57 places lower than him who has reached the third round of a Masters tournament for only the second time in his career. The Italian struggled behind his second serve where he won just 41% of the points. A frustrating outcome for Sinner who led the match 5-3 before losing 6-7(5), 2-6.
“I suffer from allergy and here there is a lot of pollen, I also play with contact lenses and everything. This bothered me a lot,” said Sinner who was coughing throughout the match.
“I suffered more because there was more sun and in that field (court) he entered easily, but I did not lose for this (reason). He played better than me.”
The 19-year-old has recently broken into the world’s top 20 following what has been a solid start to the season. At the Miami Open he became only the fourth teenager in history to reach the final after Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. On the clay he recently reached the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Despite his disappointment in Madrid, Sinner is hoping that it will help him become an even better playing in the coming weeks heading into the French Open. A Grand Slam which he reached the quarter-finals at on his debut last year.
“This defeat helps me to grow, now I go to the court to work to be at the top for the next match. I’ll come back stronger than before,” he stated.
Sinner will be hoping to get back on track next week when plays his home tournament at the Italian Open. He made his Rome debut back in 2019 where he defeated Steve Johnson in the first round before going out. A year later he reached the third round before losing to Grigor Dimitrov in three sets.
As for Popyrin, he will face a showdown against top seed Rafael Nadal in Thursday.
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