Coco Gauff quits US Open as organizers use ‘improved protocol plan’ after positive Covid test


Gauff, 16, lost 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 to the 45th-ranked Latvian in what would normally have been a full house at Louis Armstrong Stadium in New York City, the second-tallest court in the event.

But amid the coronavirus pandemic, no fans are allowed. Instead, simulated crowd noises attempted to fill the void on Monday.

Gauff told reporters she did not think the lack of crowds was taken into account in the result.

“I think I’m just as hard on the fans or not,” Gauff said. “I could have played better today. I’m just going to get back to work and prepare for the French Open. “

The French Open, normally the second major on the tennis calendar, has been postponed to September. Wimbledon was canceled earlier this year.Gauff rose to fame at Wimbledon last year as the first qualifier when she upset Venus Williams, before losing to eventual champion Simona Halep.

She also lost to eventual Australian Open champion in January, Sofia Kenin, as she came out to two-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka in New York a year ago.

Indeed, it took some of the best in tennis to get the better of her. Sevastova fits the description, especially since she reached the quarterfinals or better at the US Open in three of her last four visits and upset Serena Williams ahead of the pandemic.

“I think it’s difficult for everyone who comes here,” Sevastova said. “But, yes, that first obstacle, I won a match again. I think it will give me some confidence. I just thought, like, I’m going to fight until the end of this game, we’ll see how it goes. Coco is a great player. I mean, she’s 16 and she plays like that. I would like to play like that at 16. ”

Gauff’s complete play and intelligence earned him applause, as did – like Osaka – taking a stand in the wake of black people killed by police in the United States.

The former junior star spoke at a protest rally in his hometown of Delray Beach, Fla., In June after the death of George Floyd and said after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin this month- She would continue to use tennis to “build my voice and make it stronger so I can reach more people and create change.” ”

“This summer I learned a lot about myself,” said Gauff. “I’ve learned that I can overcome a lot of things on and off the pitch. I still hope I can be like this and use my platform that way. “

Naomi Osaka wins, wears Breonna Taylor mask

Gauff and Osaka could have ended up at Flushing Meadows in the third round. On Monday, the Japanese baseman faced compatriot Misaki Doi in the night session.

Before his match, Osaka entered Arthur Ashe Stadium wearing a mask inscribed with “Breonna Taylor”. After beating Doi, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, Osaka was asked about the mask.

“I have seven,” Osaka told ESPN on the court. “It’s pretty sad that seven masks isn’t enough for the number of names, so hopefully I get to the final and you can see them all. ”

Osaka – who withdrew ahead of Saturday’s final at the Western and Southern Open with a left thigh injury – will face Italy’s Camila Giorgi in the second round.

“I just have to see what’s going on tomorrow and how I’m feeling,” Osaka said.

The Western and Southern Open is usually held just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio, but has been moved to the US Open to strengthen the bubble, a concept also used in the NBA, NHL and the Champions League and MLS football.

The US Open, however, revealed on Sunday that an anonymous player had tested positive for Covid-19.

US Open spokesman Chris Widmaier told CNN in an email the player could not be named due to health laws, but he was identified as outgoing Frenchman Benoit Paire. , by the French sports daily L’Equipe. It has since been widely identified in other media and on social media. CNN has contacted a representative for Paire.

The name Paire was subsequently withdrawn from the official draw and replaced by a substitute for the doubles, Marcel Granollers.

French Adrian Mannarino, Kristina Mladenovic cleared to play, wins in first round

Paire was named by fellow Frenchman Adrian Mannarino as having tested positive and Paire took to Instagram on Monday night New York time to say he was “fine so far” and had no symptom.

“I hesitate to say what is really going on in the fake bubble,” he added.

Mannarino and France’s Kristina Mladenovic – who had both been in contact with Pair – played their first-round matches on Monday.

Asked why the French duo were allowed to perform after the CDC and the New York State Department of Health said those who came into contact with infected people should be quarantined, Widmaier said “improved protocols were in place”.

“In collaboration with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the USTA has developed an improved protocol plan for players who may have potentially been exposed to the infected player,” he said. he declares. “As part of these improved protocols, potentially exposed players will now be tested daily, rather than every four days. ”

Widmaier has confirmed that French doubles specialist Edouard Roger-Vasselin is part of the improved protocol plan after being named by L’Equipe as also coming into contact with Paire and citing him.

Mladenovic and Mannarino said they were too.

Mladenovic, who beat Hailey Baptiste 7-5, 6-2, said she was tested negative twice following Pair’s positive test.

She looked exhausted speaking to reporters on a Zoom call.

“I don’t know how we’re going to continue,” she said. “I am not allowed to do fitness, to do something like a public bubble. I am completely alone with my brother / trainer. It is literally a bubble within a bubble. I don’t know how to be more specific. Literally not seeing anyone else. Forbidden to go to the facilities that have been set up for the players. It is mentally very difficult. ”

After beating Lorenzo Sonego 6-1, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, Mannarino said he was mentally exhausted.

“I didn’t get much sleep,” Mannarino said on a Zoom call. “I had no idea if I was going to be taken out of the tournament. If I was still going to be in the tournament, then under what conditions? So I thought a lot. ”

“On Sunday, ATP told us that they were discussing with the health department the decision regarding all the players who have been in contact with Benoit. So it took them some time to make the decision to leave us first. Tournament. “


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