Tennis star first player to test positive for virus in US Open bubble

·2-min read
French star Benoit Paire putting his hands up on the bench.
French star Benoit Paire withdraws from US Open after coronavirus result. (Getty Images)

France's Benoit Paire has tested positive for COVID-19 and will have to pull out of the US Open starting on Monday, French sports daily L'Equipe here reported on Sunday.

Paire, seeded 17th at the Grand Slam event, was scheduled to play Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak in the first round at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday.

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The 31-year-old arrived in New York to play the Western & Southern Open last week, a tune-up for the US Open, but he did not complete his first-round match against Croatia’s Borna Coric.

Paire appeared to be unwell during the match, asking for a doctor in the opening set before retiring in the second while trailing 6-0 1-0.

L’Equipe said fellow Frenchmen Richard Gasquet, Adrian Mannarino, Gregoire Barrere and Edouard Roger Vasselin were also asked to self-isolate in their hotel rooms after Paire’s positive test.

The U.S. Open is being played without fans and in a biosecure bubble due to the pandemic, but several high-ranking players skipped the tournament due to coronavirus concerns.

Players confused over US Open rules

Last week, the tennis world, including World No.1 Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, were left puzzled after two players were kicked out of the US Open lead up tournament, despite testing negative for the coronavirus.

World No.35 Guido Pella hit out at the Western & Southern Open after he, and World No. 93 Hugo Dellien, were booted from the tournament when their fitness trainer Juan Manuel Galvan tested positive for the coronavirus.

However, players jumped to the defence of the pair after neither of them tested positive since Galvan’s original result.

Pella released a statement claiming he never had coronavirus and someone needed to ‘take charge’ in these situations.

He also claimed Galvan may have received a false positive, which has resulted in him being removed.

“We had no information from the tournament or the ATP. I gave my fifth negative result of Covid-19, as did Hugo and Jose (Acasuso, their coach) and nobody tells us anything.

“And yesterday afternoon they tested it again on my physical trainer and he was negative. Imagine the feeling I have.

"I don't know what will happen at the time, who will take charge and what solution they will give us from the tournament. Juan is negative and apparently never had the virus."