A major setback has struck the French Open 2020 even before the start of the qualifying event on Monday. The French Open 2020 bubble has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. A minimum of four players returned positive coronavirus tests on the eve of the Grand Slam event. This number could soon rise to 15.
Marca reports that four players ‘mysteriously disappeared’ from the entry list. Uzbekistan star Denis Istomin is one of the players missing from the list. The other players are Ernesto Escobedo, Pedka Kristin, and Bernabé Zapata.
The players who are part of the qualifying draw arrived in Paris last Thursday itself. This was done to allow the French Open 2020 organizers enough time to carry out tests and other procedures.
Also, the tournament clarified that the players tested positive won’t be allowed to compete in the Grand Slam in Paris.
While the four names are all of the male players, the inclusion of some female players could take the tally up to 15.
The French Tennis Federation will now work to find the discrepancies in their method of handling the COVID-19 protocols. Contact tracing is initiated as the authorities aim to bring the situation under control.
As per the schedule, the draw was to take place on Sunday afternoon. As the main draw players will arrive soon, this latest development puts the tournament under a major scanner.
The US Open 2020 faced a similar situation a few weeks ago. It all started when Frenchman Benoit Paire tested positive for the coronavirus. The organizers removed him from the draw. He came in contact with eight other players during the event.
The situation turned chaotic in the US Open 2020 bubble. Many players slammed the bubble protocols. It will be interesting to see how the French Open 2020 organizers handle their situation.
Despite the rise in cases in Paris, fans will be in the stands for the clay-court Grand Slam. Earlier, the organizers allowed up to a combined 11,500 fans on the three main courts. They changed those guidelines recently, limiting the number to 5,000, only on Court Philippe Chatrier.