Sport Tennis New York authorities try to stop US Open match
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New York authorities try to stop US Open match

France's Adrian Mannarino figured in tightened biosecurity measures before losing his US Open third round match to Alexander Zverev. Photo: AP
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Adrian Mannarino has revealed that health officials in New York tried to stop his third-round match with Alexander Zverev from going ahead.

The Frenchman was one of 11 players placed under stricter coronavirus protocols because of close contact with compatriot Benoit Paire, who tested positive for COVID-19 and was withdrawn from the tournament a day before it began.

His match was delayed by three hours and when it did finally go ahead the German fifth seed won 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-2 6-2.

It was a chaotic build-up for both players as the tournament scrambled to get the game started.

“I was preparing to go on court at 2.30pm,” Mannarino, who must now quarantine in his hotel room until next Friday, said.

“The tour manager came to talk to me and explained the situation that the state department of health took over the city.

“The city allowed me to play on Sunday but the state took over this decision to say that I’ve been exposed to a positive case so I should be quarantined in my room and not be able to go on the court and play my match today.

“They told me they were trying to contact some guys and see if this decision could be changed.

“Obviously a lot of effort has been done, they pushed the match back, Sascha agreed which is nice.

It looked like the delay might hurt Zverev more than Mannarino, who won the first set, but the German hit back to win in style.

“I was told that there was very little chance we were going to play,” Zverev said.

“It was back and forth, back and forth. It was political, it was not us players, we were just sitting around.”

World No.1 Novak Djokovic has expressed his concerns at how the situation regarding Paire and the players who have been around him has been handled.

The Serb revealed that not only was he involved in the discussion, but that he tried to contact New York state governor Andrew Cuomo.

Djokovic, who started a new players’ union last week, said there has been inconsistency throughout from tournament organisers.

“We knew that coming into the States, there was a high probability situations like this could occur,” he said after a routine win over Jan-Lennard Struff.

“I’m not happy these kind of circumstances with the French players was managed.

“Benoit was positive, we don’t even know if it was a false positive – there are quite a lot of false positive tests in sport I’ve been hearing.

“That hasn’t been cleared up here with Benoit and he’s quarantined, out of the tournament.

“All the other guys close to him, they were allowed to play. A lot of inconsistency.”

-with AAP