Coronavirus: Mladenovic-Babos withdraw from US Open after quarantine notice

Timea Babos (L) and Kristina Mladenovic speak before a point during the final of the Australian Open on January 31, 2020. (AFP)

Doubles top seeds Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos were withdrawn from the US Open on Saturday, hours before they were due on court after Mladenovic received a COVID-19 quarantine notice from public health officials, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) said.

Mladenovic is one of 10 players who came in contact with France’s Benoit Paire, who was pulled out from the men’s field at the hardcourt major after testing positive for the new coronavirus.

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Since the players are staying in Nassau County, the USTA said public health officials prevented those who were in contact with Paire from travelling to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City.

In this file photo taken on February 25, 2020 France's Benoit Paire returns the ball to Croatia's Marin Cilic during the round of 32 in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in the United Arab Emirates. US Open players believed to have come in contact with Benoit Paire -- who tested positive for COVID August 31, 2020. (AFP)

In this file photo taken on February 25, 2020 France's Benoit Paire returns the ball to Croatia's Marin Cilic during the round of 32 in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in the United Arab Emirates. US Open players believed to have come in contact with Benoit Paire -- who tested positive for COVID August 31, 2020. (AFP)

“Public health officials of Nassau County, N.Y., have issued quarantine notices for all individuals who had prolonged close contact to a person who previously tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus,” the USTA said in a statement.

“All persons who were identified as having prolonged close contact with the infected player will quarantine in their rooms for the remainder of their quarantine period.

“Kristina 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as the women’s doubles competition has begun, the women’s doubles team of Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos has been withdrawn from the US Open.”

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A USTA spokesman told Reuters the quarantine notice was issued on Friday evening but did not elaborate on whether other players at the tournament would be impacted by the mandate.

Mladenovic had previously complained of living a “nightmare” due to the health protocols at the Grand Slam after suffering a spectacular meltdown to lose to Russian Varvava Gracheva in her second-round singles match on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old was one of several athletes placed under an “enhanced protocol plan”.

She had complained saying she felt like she was being treated like a prisoner after she was placed inside a “bubble within a bubble” despite “thirty negative tests”.

France’s Adrian Mannarino was also placed in the same protocol plan and his match with fifth seed Alexander Zverev was pushed back on Friday as the USTA engaged in discussions with health officials to allow the match to go ahead.

Mannarino was knocked out in four sets.

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Last Update: Sunday, 06 September 2020 KSA 01:18 - GMT 22:18
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