Earlier, there were reports that French tennis player Benoit Paire was tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The situation got complicated even further when seven players who were in contact with Paire, were confined as well. Among them was Adrian Mannarino, who was expected to face Alexander Zverev.
Many of the French players are extremely upset at the extra protocols that are in place for them. Mannarino is quite furious with the US Open organizers and they are all working to reach an agreement.
Out of the seven quarantined players, Grégoire Barrere, Édouard Roger-Vasselin, Kristina Mladenovic, Adrian Mannarino, and Richard Gasquet were French. Meanwhile, Belgian players, Kirsten Flipkens and Ysaline Bonaventure were also seen in contact with Paire.
For the moment, the match has been delayed and tentatively rescheduled to 5 PM local time. Paire had already pulled out from the US Open and withdrew from the Cincinnati Masters.
It is worth noting that French officials tried to negotiate an early departure date for the players. Unfortunately, those talks fell through and the players were confined to a ‘bubble’ at the US Open.
Many of the French players criticized the USTA’s “enhanced protocol plan”. In fact, this has been described as a bubble within a bubble for the who interacted with Paire. To make matters worse for Mannarino, he copped a fine because somebody from his group violated the US Open’s COVID-19 protocols.
Luckily, Adrian Mannarino and Alexander Zverev finally arrived at the Louis Armstrong Stadium for their third-round clash. Their match officially kicked off two hours and 45 minutes after they were supposed to arrive.
Later US Open justified the delay. “The Zverev-Mannarino match was delayed while a collaborative dialogue with health officials was conducted today. Communication with the players was ongoing during the afternoon to keep them updated at all times,” they stated.
While all the drama was going on, Alexander Zverev was patiently waiting for news of the match. Initially, there were talks of the match being called off, but now it is finally underway.