Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks back on the week that was in the world of tennis. This week, Charles Blouin-Gascon reviews the latest in COVID-19 land.
What would you do?
Alright, let’s give you a fair bit more context to go with this question, in the form of a purely hypothetical scenario.
Say you were from North America and a professional tennis player who had been at your profession for quite some time. And say you were competing in the middle of a dang pandemic that had killed just about a million people worldwide, yet for some reason the powers that govern your sport had decided the tennis still needed to keep on tennis-ing.
And for that reason, say you were competing in Russia—St. Petersburg to be more precise. And say that one day you received the grim news, while you were still in foreign Russia for this event you were competing in, that you had tested positive for the virus that had caused so many deaths across the world.
In this purely hypothetical scenario, what would you do?
Well if you asked Sam Querrey, American professional tennis player who indeed has been competing for quite some time, then the answer is that you leave St. Petersburg altogether on a private jet, the rules of your sport be damned.
The Alleged Facts
Of course, this scenario is no mere hypothetical and we didn’t single out Querrey in the paragraph above by sheer coincidence. It was revealed, last week, that if the facts are to be believed that the American had tested positive for COVID-19 on the day before the singles draw of the St. Petersburg Open was set to start. As a result, he had been placed in isolation along with his wife, who was with him in Russia, and their child.
And then? And then, allegedly again, Querrey apparently didn’t let doctors in his hotel room when they went to visit him the next day, on Monday, Oct 12. From there, you can sort of expect the rest: indeed, Querrey and his family are believed to have left the country the following day on a private jet despite not being allowed to if he had indeed tested positive for the virus.
What Happens Now?
Since, we’ve received kind of differing accounts depending on whether we asked the ATP or the tournament officials. Bet365 bonus code also looks at different daily tennis matches from around the world, when you’re on the move our at home.
In the case of the former, they released the expected vague and noncommittal statement. They did not name Querrey specifically, only explaining that one of their players had breached protocol and that an investigation was underway.
“The ATP is aware of an incident regarding a player’s serious breach of protocol relating to COVID-19 at this week’s St. Petersburg Open” pic.twitter.com/ZatxI4qym3
— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) October 14, 2020
Tournament officials, however, were much more precise in their statement. “Sam Querrey, as the hotel’s security cameras identified, left the hotel together with his family at 5:45 a.m. on Oct. 13 without informing the reception service,” they said. “As Querrey told an ATP representative, he left Russia with his family on a private plane.”
Now, we won’t say something vaguely in the style of wondering aloud whether Querrey may be a Donald J. Trump supporter since he’s so great at flaunting the rules and all that. Such a witty comment would be in poor taste and just us trying way too hard, of course, because it’s just way too easy of a joke to make.
We could never make such an easy joke, you hear us? Never, ever.
What comes next?
It’s not exactly sure what might be the American’s punishment for the carelessness and disregard for the player conduct code he displayed last week in Russia. The ball is in the hands of the ATP officials, but already some have speculated that the punishment, considering how the rules are written, could be fairly harsh and could range anywhere from a $100,000 fine to a suspension from the tour for up to three years.
If the ATP deem Sam Querrey’s protocol breach a major offense and possibly injurious to the tour, which is what their email implies, he could be fined up to $100k and/or suspended from the ATP for a period of up to three years. pic.twitter.com/gu87csR1iW
— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) October 14, 2020
But of course, no one knows what the ATP will do.
We only know what Querrey allegedly did—and he’s probably the first person rueing his decision.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG