As the French Open Begins, Confusion and Fears About Coronavirus Dominate

As the French Open Begins, Confusion and Fears About Coronavirus Dominate

In Paris, players are merely encouraged to take personal responsibility and respect social distancing guidelines but there are not strict rules on where they can venture or eat.

“It is impossible to put a bubble around a tennis player,” Montalvan said in the interview with L’Équipe.

That was certainly true of the French tennis players who traveled for the tournaments in New York.

Benoit Paire, the French veteran known for both his smooth groundstrokes and active social life, tested positive just ahead of the U.S. Open. Paire, currently ranked No. 25 in men’s singles, was found to have hosted a card game in his room with at least six other players, several of them from France.

Paire was barred from playing in the U.S. Open, and even though no one else tested positive, the other players who were near him had to follow more strict isolation rules — even after they were eliminated — and health officials eventually prohibited Kristina Mladenovic from participating in the doubles tournament.

The Paire saga has continued since the U.S. Open.

After quarantining for 14 days in New York, Paire traveled to Rome, where he tested negative but lost in the first round of the Italian Open. He then went to Hamburg, Germany, to play in the Hamburg European Open. He tested positive but medical officials allowed him to play because they determined that after 14 days an asymptomatic person was unlikely to continue to be contagious.

On Wednesday, he defaulted in the second set of his first round match against Casper Ruud. In a television interview following the match, Paire said, “I can’t take it anymore, I’m breaking.”

In Paris, a positive test would have resulted in Paire’s immediate elimination. Players who test positive in Paris are asked to isolate for seven days, compared with a mandatory 14-day isolation in New York.

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