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Tennis News • U.S. Open Bubbles Bursting • Double Standard • Pella Unfairly Pays A Big Price

 
By Ricky Dimon

Guido Pella lost to J.J. Wolf in four sets at the US Open on Tuesday. For the Argentine, though, the overriding feeling may be relief. After all, he can now leave the bubble–and it was a bubble that was not kind to him. 

Pella — and also Hugo Dellien — were forced to withdraw from last week’s Western & Southern Open after their physio tested positive for the coronavirus. The left-hander already wasn’t happy about that.

“We had no information from the tournament or the ATP,” Pella complained at the Cincinnati Masters. “I gave my fifth negative result of Covid-19, as did Hugo and Jose and nobody tells us anything. And they tested my physical trainer again and he was negative. Imagine the feeling I have! Juan is negative and apparently never had the virus.”

“I do not know what will happen, but here there was a very serious error on the part of someone. I hope they can give me pertinent explanations, because what I went through this week was very difficult.”

Pella admitted to coming into close contact with his physio, obviously, but did feel like that was grounds for removal from the tournament.

“We were eating, we were practicing, we were stretching, we did everything together. So we were in close contact with him, that’s for sure. I’m not saying that we weren’t with him. The worst part was in the protocols, it was very specific that if we don’t share the same room with the person who tests positive, there is no problem. You can still practice practice. So they changed that and I don’t know why….”

Pella and Dellien could practice–just not effectively!

“I got like nine different tests every two days. Hugo also, and my coach as well. And after that, we’ve been talking to the ATP like six or seven hours a day, asking them why they were doing this thing to us. We were asking for (practice) courts, we were asking for balls, we were asking for a bike. They didn’t give us an answer until Thursday or Friday. We got a bike, we got different stuff, but very poor; very poor weights, bike, and everything. They got us a court 35 minutes away from the hotel. But the court, I swear to you, was nothing compared to the US Open. Nothing. It was like with trees and shadows; the court was so bad, it was very tough for us to practice. 

“And I kept hearing from the press, but they didn’t know, ‘Dellien and Pella got a court for practice.’ Yeah, we were practicing–but in horrible conditions; horrible conditions, with security guards 24 hours without leaving the room.”

Adding insult to injury, Benoit Paire tested positive one day before the US Open began and 11 people who came into contact with the Frenchman are still allowed to compete in the season’s second major. Pella considers this a double standard.

“Imagine if you were on lockdown for two weeks, and (then) the Benoit case was (clicking fingers) just like that! Eleven players that were involved with close contact with Benoit, they were like, ‘Okay, you will have a bubble inside of the bubble and you will be allowed to practice and play the US Open.’ Imagine how you would feel if that happened to you. They got this treatment; we (did not). So it was uneven.”

Something tells me that even though Pella and Dellien are out of the US Open, we have not heard the last of this….

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.