'Never had it': Tennis world erupts after baffling coronavirus gaffe

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Novak Djokovic (pictured left) looking confused and Guido Pella (pictured right) answering questions.
Novak Djokovic (pictured left) has defended Guido Pella's (pictured right) after he criticised the Western & Southern Open for expelling him despite not testing positive for coronavirus. (Getty Images)

The tennis world, including World No.1 Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, have been 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.

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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."

Unless the decision is reversed, Pella and Dellien will remain in lockdown and could miss the US Open which starts on August 29.

"I do not know what will happen,” Pella added.

Djokovic and Murray claim players are confused

Djokovic was one player to admit the information he received seem to contradict the ruling.

“On a Zoom call a few weeks ago we got information from the chief medical doctor of the USTA that if a player is not sharing a room with his coach, or his physio, or anyone from his team that is infected, and his [own] results are negative, he can still compete in the tournament,” Djokovic said to reporters in a conference call.

Djokovic said a lot of players, including himself, were ‘upset’ at the decision to remove Pella and Dellien because of the contradicting messages.

"We asked that question [about team members testing positive] a couple of times in the call, and that's what was communicated to us," Djokovic added."That's why a lot of the players were - are - upset, including myself, when I see that Pell and Dellien are treated in this way.”

Murray added some players were not clear about the rules and would have travelled with a smaller entourage to the US if they had of known.

“Some of the players were saying, 'Well, I wouldn't have come with a trainer or a physio if I knew that was the case.' I'm not saying that it's not the right decision, but the players were not clear as to what the rules actually were,” Murray added on the conference call to reporters.