He Australian Open It can be disputed in 2021 at the cost of a series of strict health protocols that have been put in place in the framework of the covid-19 pandemic. Despite all the preventive measures that have been taken in the previous one, at the beginning of the qualy the first positive cases have begun to register. Such is the case of the American Denis Kudla, who lived a peculiar situation in Doha, the venue chosen for this section of the contest.
The 114th-ranked ATP player learned of the positive diagnosis while playing his qualifying match against the Moroccan Elliot Benchetrit. At that precise moment, the tournament doctor reported the result of the test to a supervisor, who relayed the news to the coach of the player who at that time had a 6-4 and 5-3 advantage on the scoreboard. The match continued until he won the next game and sealed the victory. However, he was later disqualified.
“The rule says that you have to finish the game in dispute before stopping the game and when he won it, I had no choice. If I had put 5-4 the victory was mine “, explained Benchetrit (221 °) to the specialized site Tennis Major in a phone conversation. Despite Kudla’s disqualification, it is highly likely that the Nice-born and recently nationalized Moroccan tennis player will not win the match either: will be considered close contact of your rival and must comply with a ten-day quarantine.
Kudla’s is the third positive for coronavirus so far in the contest, after the cases of the Argentines Juan Pablo Ficovich and Francisco Cerúndolo. “Unfortunately today I tested positive for COVID. I am in good health, but I will not be able to continue competing in the tournament. I will comply with the days of isolation that they tell me and I will come out with more strength than before. The Australian Open is over but everything continues. Thank you all ”, the latter wrote on his social networks.
After qualifying in Doha (men’s) and Dubai (women’s), the main draws of the Australian Open, the first ‘Grand Slam’ of the season, will start in the second week of February, a delay of almost a month compared to its more traditional and initially scheduled dates. Due to the coronavirus restrictions, the contest will be played from 8 to 21.
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