Brazilian tennis player Bruno Soares was an absolute trooper, and it paid off at the US Open 2020. As it turned out, he tested positive for the COVID-19 virus sometime before the Western and Southern Open. For a long time, he kept it under wraps and quietly self-isolated and allowed himself time to recover.
The good news was that after his mandatory fortnightly quarantine, he passed the next COVID-19 test. Obviously, this meant that he was clear to travel to New York.
Unfortunately, the two weeks that he spent in recovery ended up hurting his ability to prepare for the tournament. So, he and partner Mate Pavic only lasted as long as the Round of 32.
“I had a blocked nose one day when I was back in Belo, and I was feeling a little bit weak, decided to get tested. I was getting tested anyways twice a week the month before coming here,” Soares admitted.
“I tested positive, isolated myself 14, 15 days, [had] no symptoms. So just basically [waited] for a negative test to come. Got lucky. Got it right after 14 days. The one thing that was tough is 14 days without doing anything and then you just come straight here.”
How did Bruno Soares overcome the odds at the US Open 2020?
In the buildup to the US Open, Soares and Pavic worked tirelessly to make up for their earlier loss. The duo was a relatively new partnership, even though they had already won a title at the Shanghai Rolex Masters last year. Unfortunately, they struggled on the Grand Slam stage.
However, the 2020 US Open signified a new dawn for the duo. From there, they played like men possessed, defeating the likes of Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos, and Jack Sock and Jackson Withrow. All their hard work was worth it in the end when they bested Nikola Mektic and Wesley Koolhof, 7-5, 6-3.
“The opponents were serving for the match second round. So we got back from all of those situations, building up confidence throughout the matches, playing better and better,” said Pavic. “Now we are here with the title, so we are extremely happy. Another Grand Slam title, and we are now looking forward already to Europe, next tournaments.”
The Brazilian insisted that he had faith in himself and his Croatian teammate. He observed that the two of them had great chemistry during the matches. According to him, the trick is to believe that they were playing well, then winning any tournament would be a cinch.
The victory marked Soares’ third men’s doubles major title, and Pavic’s second Grand Slam title. Pavic had previously won the 2018 Australian Open. Meanwhile, Bruno Soares has the 2016 Australian Open and 2016 US Open titles under his belt.