Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray Raise Concern Over Disqualification of Two Players From the Western & Southern Open

Published 08/22/2020, 11:26 AM EDT

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The disqualification of Argentine Guido Pella and Bolivian Hugo Dellien from the Cincinnati Open also known as the Western & Southern Open, has created confusion in the minds of players and some big names have raised their displeasure with the move. World No.1 Novak Djokovic raised his doubts and displeasure with the decision. And Former World No.1 Andy Murray spoke collectively for some players and expressed his concerns.

Guido Pella and Hugo Dellien were disqualified as their physiotherapist was tested positive for the coronavirus. Then players even though tested negative were placed in quarantine for 14 days. Effectively disqualifying them from the Cincinnati Open and probably the US Open as well.


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Novak Djokovic on the Disqualification

In a recent press conference, Djokovic called the situation ‘tricky’. The players when they had a conversation with the chief medical doctor of the US Open, they were told some contrary things to what was written on the waiver.

“Now we have the situation with Dellien and Pella, that was quite tricky. Sometimes it is out of the hand of USTA and ATP and governing bodies in tennis. It’s more up to the health department of New York State and we have to accept it. It’s tough, it’s not easy especially with these two guys it’s not easy seeing them being out of the Cincinnati tournament and most likely out of US Open and being quarantined and yet have the negative results.” Djokovic said


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“We were actually informed by the Chief medical doctor of US Open about a couple of weeks ago. When we had the conversation and we asked a question about this specific situation that these two players are in and he told us something that is obviously contrary to what was written in the waiver,” he added


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Andy Murray on the Disqualification

Andy Murray explained what went through the other players’ psyche after hearing the news. He talked about the waiver. Almost all players thought that if a team member had tested positive and the player does not share a room with the member then he would be allowed to play provided he is tested negative. But that is not the case and so Murray, as well as other players, are disappointed.

“I think from my perspective that is not how I understood the rules. My understanding was that if a team member tested positive but you were not sharing a room with that team member then you will be allowed to play providing you were negative. And I think that is what all of the players thought the rules were. So when they were withdrawn from the tournament, the players were like that is not what we understood the rules to be. The players were disappointed with that.” Murray said


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Like Djokovic highlighted, nothing is in USTA or ATP’s hands. It is apparently up to the New York state’s health department. But certainly, it seems there has been a huge lack of communication between the USTA and players.


Written by:

Bhavishya Mittal


One take at a time

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.
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