Kudla tests positive for virus, news breaks mid-match

American player Denis Kudla was informed mid-match that he had tested positive for Coronavirus at the Australian Open qualifiers

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America's Denis Kudla was informed he had tested positive for Coronavirus during his Australian Open qualifying match against Elliott Benchetrit

The Australian Open qualifying event was rocked by controversy as the news that Denis Kudla had tested positive for Coronavirus broke during his match against Morocco’s Elliott Benchetrit.

America’s Kudla, seeded fourth in the event, won the second round of qualifiers 6-4, 6-3 but has been rushed into quarantine. He has been forced to give a walkover in the third round of qualifying.

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The Australian Open qualifiers is taking place in Doha, Qatar this time to minimize the number of players travelling to Melbourne and entering a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The news of Kudla’s positive virus test trickled in with the American leading 5-3 in the second set and the players had to finish the game once it was in progress.

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It emerged later on, though, that had Benchetrit won the game to make it 5-4 in the second, he would have progressed into the third round courtesy a Kudla walkover.

“At 5-3, they got the result (of his test). So if I’d won that game at 5-3 to make it 5-4, I’d have qualified for the second round,” Benchetrit said in a video posted on Instagram.

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“Now we’re waiting to see if I’m considered a close contact or not. And if I am it’s a double whammy. Because I lost the match, played against a (COVID-19) positive guy and they didn’t get the result before the match.

“And on top of that, I’d have to stay a week in the room (under quarantine).”

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“Now we’re waiting to see if I’m considered a close contact or not. And if I am it’s a double whammy. Because I lost the match, played against a (COVID-19) positive guy and they didn’t get the result before the match.

“And on top of that, I’d have to stay a week in the room (under quarantine).”

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Kudla is the second player forced to withdraw from the event due to a positive test, joining Francisco Cerundolo in hotel quarantine.

Cerundolo was due to face Spain’s Mario Vilella Martinez but received his positive result before taking to the court. The Argentine later tweeted he was in “good health.”

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