Doubles team out of U.S. Open due to quarantine order

Doubles team out of U.S. Open due to quarantine order

After a first-round singles win Monday, Mladenovic called her ordeal in NY a "nightmare".

Serena Williams battled into the US Open last 16 Saturday as the tournament endured fresh controversy after NY health officials ordered the women's top doubles pairing be withdrawn over coronavirus restrictions.

The management of the NY bubble has inspired much debate behind the scenes - especially the treatment of 11 players who had come into contact with the infected French player Benoit Paire.

Adrian Mannarino was allowed to play his singles match on Friday after lengthy discussions but Mladenovic and Babos were prevented from playing their second-round match hours before they were due on court after Mladenovic received a COVID-19 quarantine notice.

In a statement, the USTA said Nassau County public health officials issued a quarantine preventing travel to the US Open site.

The players who were in contact with him have been told they would not be allowed to fly out of NY until next week.

Mladenovic has not been so fortunate, and a statement from tournament organisers read: "Public health officials of Nassau County, (New York), have issued quarantine notices for all individuals who had prolonged close contact to a person who previously tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus". Now they are confined to their hotel rooms and are unable to commute to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

"The USTA is obligated to adhere to government guidance at the state, city and county level", the body said. "Mladenovic is one of these individuals, and as the Women's Doubles competition has begun, the women's doubles team of Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos has been withdrawn from the US Open".

Serena Williams, Sofia Kenin, Victoria Azarenka, Elise Mertens, Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Matteo Berrettini, Felix Auger Aliassime and Andrey Rublev were the protagonists of the US Open 2020 day 6.

Why Mannarino was permitted to play and Mladenovic was not is unclear.

"Let's look at the facts: Benoit Paire's positive test dated back ten days before (after 4 negatives) and in recent days his results were negative", Babos said.

Paire was withdrawn from the US Open due to a positive COVID-19 test.

"I'm sitting here in my kitchen and crying", Babos said in a post on Instagram on Sunday.

Mladenovic won the first set 6-1 and was leading 5-1 in the second set, just needing to hold serve one more time to close out the match. "And yet, we were locked up", the 27-year-old Hungarian added. "I have nothing more to say, I'm completely devastated".

The French Open - which starts a fortnight from Monday - will take an even more hardline approach to its bio-secure bubble than the US Open, with all players being required to stay in one of the two tournament hotels. "I have the impression that we are prisoners, that we are criminals".

"I have done maybe five tests, five negative tests, and I will continue to do them every day".

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