Benoit Paire allowed to play in Hamburg despite positive Covid-19 test
Benoit Paire retired during his first-round match at the Hamburg European Open and then revealed he had been allowed to play despite testing positive for Covid-19.
The Frenchman was barred from competing at the US Open after testing positive and required to quarantine.
Paire subsequently tested negative in Rome last week, only to test positive again in Hamburg, although his most recent test was negative.
The tournament doctor told reporters that, under local rules, individuals are not considered infectious so long after initially testing positive and therefore Paire was allowed to compete.
Paire told reporters: “I was positive here in Hamburg since I arrived. The only negative test I got yesterday. Before that two in a row I was positive. But the rule seems different here. So thank you to the tournament and the doctor here in Hamburg that I can play.
“Every night I go to sleep and they tell me maybe you are positive, maybe you are negative, maybe you can play, maybe you can’t. The only thing I want is to finish the season and to go home.”
The rules are different for the French Open, where any positive test means immediate elimination from the event.
A number of players who had been due to compete in qualifying but tested positive, or who had been in close contact with a coach who tested positive, have already been barred from playing at Roland Garros.
Paire cited tiredness after retiring during his clash with Casper Ruud while trailing 6-4 2-0, writing on Instagram: “When is it going to end?”
The ATP later issued a statement on clearance to play protocols, saying the system had been developed by experts in public health and infectious disease.
“Protocols have also been designed to comply with differing local health regulations in each market where ATP tournaments are held, to provide a safe means for returning to competition,” the statement read.
“In the case of Mr Benoit Paire, who first tested positive for Covid-19 several weeks prior to 2020 Hamburg European Open, initial test results at the tournament once again indicated him as positive.
“In light of Mr Paire’s medical history with Covid-19, his results were then subjected to further medical analysis for conclusive assessment.
“Following a full evaluation of the player and assessment of his medical testing profile, Mr Paire was cleared to compete at the tournament in compliance with local health regulations and ATP protocols. Mr Paire subsequently returned a negative Covid-19 test result prior to his first-round match.”
Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas claimed his first ATP Tour win of the season on clay, beating Dan Evans 6-3 6-1 inside an hour, while Andrey Rublev and Cristian Garin both reached the quarter-finals.
Fifth seed Rublev saw off Tommy Paul 6-1 3-6 6-2 while Garin was a 6-2 7-6 (3) winner against Yannick Hanfmann.
Rublev’s reward is a last-eight showdown with fourth seed Roberto Bautista Agut, who beat Dominik Koepfer 6-3 3-6 6-3, while Garin will face Alexander Bublik after the man from Kazakhstan eased past Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4 6-2.
‘Players upset’ over Adelaide privileges afforded to Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem
“It’s not apples and apples here, but apples and pears.”
More Australian Open players go into isolation taking number up to 72
Forty-seven had already been quarantined.
How Australian Open players are keeping themselves occupied in quarantine
A total of 47 players forced to quarantine.
Australian Open preparations rocked by fourth positive Covid case
A positive test was returned on a charter flight from LA.
Players were made aware of isolation risks on arrival to Australia – Craig Tiley
Forty seven players to remain in their hotel rooms.
Andy Murray’s waiting game as anger mounts after tennis players fly in for Australian Open
Will Andy Murray be allowed to fly to Melbourne?
Positive Covid cases on flights to Australia put 47 players in 14-day quarantine
Three people across two chartered flights carrying the Open hopefuls tested positive for coronavirus upon their arrival in Melbourne.
Bernard Tomic still has drive to compete, saying ‘I don’t need to play tennis again, I’ve got enough money’
“I’m risking my life, and I’m playing and competing.”
Dominic Thiem: ‘My wish for 2021 is to win a second Grand Slam title’
Dominic Thiem eyes a second Grand Slam trophy.