No, Roland-Garros will not be spared by the coronavirus. While it will be organized under special conditions, with an almost complete closed session, the Grand Slam tournament on clay must face the pandemic even before the start of qualifying, scheduled for Monday. Indeed, the organizers confirmed this Sunday that five players had to be removed from the table on the eve of the first matches due to two positive tests for coronavirus, three other players being considered as “contact cases”. “The management of the Roland-Garros tournament confirms that two qualifying players have tested positive for Covid-19 and three other players are declared ‘contact cases’ of their coach tested positive for Covid-19, announces a press release. In accordance with tournament health protocol, these five players have been removed from the qualifying table which begins tomorrow and will remain isolated for seven days. In other words, their Roland-Garros 2020 ended before they even started. To fill this table again, the tournament management quickly contacted players, especially French, to take a seat, according to information from RMC Sport.
“A huge scandal” for the coach of Damir Dzumhur
Earlier this Sunday, the Spanish daily Marca did not hesitate to announce four names of players potentially affected by these tests or “contact cases”: Denis Istomin, Ernesto Escobedo, Pedja Kristin and Bernabé Zapata. The fifth player concerned has seen his name confirmed by his coach Petar Popovic, it is Damir Dzumhur. The current 114th world will not be able to defend his chances on Parisian clay and the way the tournament organizers are doing is obviously not going to his coach. “It was my test that was on the borderline between positive and negative. Since I had the coronavirus two and a half months ago, there are antibodies that can sometimes give incorrect results. They made their decision after a few hours, but without letting me take another test. I find it very serious because human error can happen, said Petar Popovic in an interview with the daily The team. They didn’t give us a chance to be tested a second time to see if it was negative. I am 99.9% convinced that this positive is false and, above all, I am very sad for Damir, who was well prepared. He does not have the right to defend his chances. They disqualified him like that. It is a huge scandal. “After the management of” contact cases “of Benoît Paire at the US Open, Roland-Garros is already the target of a controversy linked to the coronavirus.