Players threaten revolt on the eve of ATP Tour resumption

According to a report in Spanish daily Marca, players are unhappy with the explulsion of Pella and Dellien

Hugo Dellien at Flushing Meadows / Photo courtesy: Instagram

Even as the final touches are being applied on smooth resumption of the ATP Tour, a report suggests that players are threatening boycott the Cincinnati Masters over the removal of Guido Pella and Hugo Dellien from the Cincinnati Masters.

The two players were asked to leave the tournament after their fitness trainer Juan Manuel Galván tested positive for Coronavirus.

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Pella, ranked 35 in the world, was part of the Western & Southern Open main draw while Dellien was in the qualifying event.

“We don’t feel anything,” Pella said in an Instagram post. “But the organizers took me out of the tournament… Now the protocol is for me to be tested every other day. There is no other option, hoping that these two weeks pass quickly and that I can be present at the United States Open.”

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According to a report in Spanish daily Marca, players, including World No 1 and ATP Player Council president Novak Djokovic are unhappy with their explusion.

In the 14 protocol sheets sent by the USTA, it is made clear that the exclusion would be in case of a player sharing a room with a person who tests positive and it is not the case of Dellien and Pella.

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Though the South American duo said they had practised with Galvan in Miami prior to coming to New York, they were not sharing a room with him.

Players are reportedly discussing a plan of action on their chat group to re-instate the two South American players. As an extreme measure, not playing the tournament at all is being considered by some.

“It’s not easy seeing them being out of the Cincinnati tournament and most likely out of US Open and being quarantined and yet havethe negative results, several negative results in last couple of days,” said Djokovic on Friday.

“The chief medical doctor of USTA, US Open, he told us something that is obviously contrary to what was written in the waiver, as you probably read, the waiver is up to the contact tracing investigation process that had to be done by New York Health Department, and then when they determined whether those players were too close or not too close they can decide whether to disqualify them or not. So that’s what happened.”

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The Western & Southern Open, which begins on August 22 and is the only tune-up event for the US Open, marks the return of the ATP Tour after a five-month hiatus due to the pandemic. This year, it has been moved from Cincinnati to Flushing Meadows, New York to keep the players and oragnisers in a bio-secure bubble.