Paris: American Frances Tiafoe on Saturday joined the list of tennis players to contract coronavirus. Ranked 81st in the ATP rankings, Tiafoe has had to pull out of an exhibition event in Atlanta open to the public.
“Unfortunately, I tested positive late Friday for COVID-19 and have to withdraw from the All-American Team Cup special event this weekend,” the 22-year-old posted on Twitter.
“Over the past two months, I have been training in Florida and tested negative there as recently as a week ago.”
Tiafoe’s announcement follows the slew of players who contracted COVID-19 after appearing at Novak Djokovic’s exhibition event in the Balkans last month.
World number one Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki all tested positive at an Adria Tour where social distancing was at a minimum, raising serious questions for professional tennis’ return from lockdown in August.
Organisers of the event in Florida reacted to Tiafoe’s news on social media, saying that he and all the other players were tested on their arrival in Atalanta and subjected to daily temperature tests.
“Tiafoe has left the event site and will not participate in the remainder of the event. We will continue to diligently enforce all guidelines from local health officials.”
The statement added: “Following his match (a win against Sam Querrey), he was showing symptoms and was retested and tested positive.
“Upon learning this information, we immediately began deep cleaning and sanitizing the event site, and enacted protocols in place for contact tracing and alerting individuals who may have been exposed.”
The ATP Tour returns after its five month coronavirus hiatus with the behind closed doors Washington Open on August 14, with the US Open at the end of the month.