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Sam Querrey Channels His Inner Carmen Sandiego, Flees Russia And Goes Into Hiding After Positive COVID Test

By Ricky Dimon

Nobody could have expected that Sam Querrey would be the biggest story in tennis during the European hard-court swing. But here we are.

Here is the short story of it:

– Querrey was entered in the St. Petersburg Open, scheduled to face Denis Shapovalov in the first round

– Sam and wife and son all tested negative for the coronavirus upon arrival at the tournament • but a few days later he tested positive and was  forced to withdraw

– Querrey’s wife and son also tested positive

– They were told they would have to quarantine for two weeks in the luxurious St. Petersburg Four Seasons before learning from Russian health authorities that they would have to quarantine in a Home or hospital instead if they showed symptoms.

– Showing mild symptoms and not wanting to be moved to a hospital for two weeks, Querrey and his family fled Russia on a private jet early one morning prior to a visit from a doctor.

– They flew to an undisclosed “nearby European country” that does not require a negative coronavirus test for entry, where they are now staying at an AirBnB.

“Sam Querrey, as the hotel’s security cameras identified, left the hotel together with his family at 5:45 a.m. on Oct. 13 without informing the reception service,” the St. Petersburg Open stated. “As Querrey told an ATP representative, he left Russia with his family on a private plane.”

“I guess he will get in trouble with ATP now,” surmised Alexander Zverev, who is the No. 1 seed in Cologne this week. Was not really clever.”

Well, it was clever. Querrey dodged Russian authorities in the wee hours of the morning, successfully managed to flee the country, and is now hiding in an unknown country in all-out “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” style. Now that’s clever.

Whether it is smart or not, of course, is a different story. And whether or not it is worth the risk remains to be seen. Which could have been worse: Maybe having the family separated quarantining in Russia for two weeks, or facing whatever the punishment turns out to be?

“The ATP is aware of an incident regarding a player’s serious breach of protocol relating to COVID-19 at this week’s St. Petersburg Open,” the ATP Tour wrote in a statement. “Adhering to health and safety protocols is critical to ensure events take place safely and within the guidelines established by local authorities. Players and their support team members are reminded that breaches of protocol can jeopardize an event’s ability to operate and have repercussions on the rest of the Tour. In accordance with ATP’s Code of Conduct, we are taking this matter extremely seriously and an investigation is underway.”

Despite words like “serious” and phrases such as “repercussions on the rest of the Tour” and “taking this matter extremely seriously,” I would hardly be nervous about serious punishment if I was Querrey. After all, the ATP Tour is the king of hollow threats. Nick Kyrgios has rewritten the record book on bad behavior and has never gotten more than a slap on the wrist. Same goes for Fabio Fognini.

And, hey, even if Querrey does incur some kind of fine or brief suspension, at least he escaped Putin! 

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

Editor’s Note • Sam is on the board of the new players group … and really Sam traveling with your wife and baby? We hope you and your family get well soon.