Sandgren gets OK to fly to Australia despite COVID-19 result

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Tennys Sandgren forced a quick clarification of COVID-19 rules as the first of 15 charter flights began to fly down to deliver players for the Australian Open.

The Australian Open double quarterfinal received special permission to board one of the flights from Los Angeles to Melbourne despite testing positive for COVID-19 in November and again on Monday.

The first of about 1,200 players, coaches, entourage and officials was due to land in Australia on Thursday.

According to tournament protocols agreed to with Australian government authorities, all players were required to return a negative test before boarding their flights to Australia and would undergo additional testing upon arrival and daily during a quarantine period of 14 days.

Sandgren, ranked No.50, was granted an exemption after Australian health officials assessed his background.

The American player posted on social media to say he was not contagious and had been cleared to join a delayed flight.

“My two tests were less than 8 weeks apart. I was sick in November, perfectly healthy now, ”Sandgren tweeted. “There isn’t a single documented case where I would be contagious at this stage. Totally recovered! “

The Australian newspaper published an article online titled “American Tennis Ace Raises Concern over Aus Open Virus.

Tennis Australia decided to clarify the situation in a statement on Thursday that said players who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 were “required to provide additional and very detailed medical information as proof that they are a cured case and no longer infectious or a risk to the community. “

Tennis Australia added: “In the case of Tennys Sandgren, who revealed he had already tested positive at the end of November, his medical records had to be reviewed by health authorities in the state of Victoria. After this examination, he was cleared to fly.

The Australian Open has already been delayed for three weeks due to restrictions in place for the COVID-19 pandemic, and is scheduled to open on February 8.

Nearly 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles) from Melbourne on Wednesday, the tournament qualifier wrapped up, with 16 men and 16 women set to advance to the singles main draw.

The first major tournament of the season has already been delayed by three weeks due to restrictions in place for the pandemic, and the men’s and women’s qualifying tournaments – in Doha, Qatar and Dubai – have been held for the first time in outside of Australia.

Women’s qualifiers include two-time Australian Open and Roland Garros champion Timea Babos of Hungary and British player Francesca Jones, who suffers from a rare genetic condition.

Jones has ectodermal ectrodactylic dysplasia, which means she was born with three fingers and a thumb on each hand, three toes on her right foot, and four toes on her left.

On the men’s side, qualifying includes ATP newcomer of the year, Carlos Alcaraz of Spain.

Six women and six men will also travel to Australia as lucky losers and undergo mandatory quarantine like the rest of the international players, in the hopes of securing a place in the main draw to cover injuries or strikeouts. There are 104 direct entries based on rankings for the men’s and women’s singles main draw, as well as wild-card and qualifying entries.

The 15 flights will have a maximum capacity of 25% and will arrive over a 36-hour period ending early Saturday.

Once a negative result has been returned, players can train in a strictly supervised environment for five hours a day, and players and their teams will be tested every day during quarantine.

The Australian Open draw will be …

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Source: Twitter AP

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