Sam Querrey and his wife Abby plus their eight-month old child Ford, have flown out of Russia to avoid being caught up in that country’s health system following their positive test for Covid-19.
Querrey was due to play Denis Shapovalov in the first round. His abrupt departure left the door open for Viktor Troicki to take his place as a Lucky Loser but the Canadian second seed at the St Petersburg Open (an ATP 500 event), quickly dismissed him 6-2 6-3.
Meanwhile Querrey, the world No.49, had been instructed to quarantine for 14 days at the Four Seasons Hotel reports journalist Ben Rothenberg.
The American player was then informed that another doctor would visit them and if they should have any symptoms, they could be hospitalised.
As the family were experiencing mild symptoms, the likelihood of them being hospitalised and separated in a foreign country, especially from their very young child, was clearly a possibility and not one they were prepared to undergo.
Consequently Querrey contacted a private jet company and arranged for them all to be flown out of the country and out of the reach of the Russian health authorities.
They were taken to “a nearby European country” that didn’t require a negative test to enter and are now isolating in an AirBNB.
Irrespective of the circumstances the ATP has reacted to Querrey’s actions describing it as a ‘serious breach’ of the health protocols which are in place and have promised an immediate investigation into the incident.
The ATP add that the move could “jeopardise an event’s ability to operate and have repercussions on the rest of the Tour”.
Under their rules, should the ATP find his protocol breach to have been a major offence and damaging to the future of the Tour, he could be fined up to US$100,000 and/or suspended from the tour for a period of up to three years.
Meanwhile the event itself continues with Cameron Norrie booking a place in the quarter-finals after defeating Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic 7-5 6-7(5) 6-3 where he is joined by Stan Wawrinka, a 6-1 3-6 6-3 victor over Russian wild card Evgeny Donskov. The two could meet in the semi-finals but they must first overcome some tough opposition with the British number three likely to face Andrey Rublev, the third seed and the Swiss three-time grand slam champion, Denis Shapovalov who are a round behind.