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By Erik Gudris | Sunday, September 20, 2020

 
Denis Istomin

Roland Garros qualifying begins on Monday behind closed doors in Paris with main-draw action starting next Sunday with fans present.

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

Roland Garros is already confronting Coronavirus issues that could disrupt the draw before play even starts in Paris.

Per Spanish news outlet Marca, four men players tested positive for COVID-19 before the start of the qualifying round.

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Denis Istomin, Bernabe Zapata, Pedka Kristin, and Ernesto Escobedo are those reported as having tested positive. All four players were removed from the registered list of players before the men’s qualifying draw was posted on Sunday.



Marca also reports that up to 15 players, both men and women, could all have tested positive. The women’s qualifying draw has not yet been posted.

Serbian media also reports that Damir Dzumhur will not compete after he also tested positive.

The news comes as tournament organizers face continuing criticism over their plans for the “bubble” designed to keep players and staff safe during the two week event. This includes only allowing players to stay in hotels, rather than offer them the option to stay in private housing, as was the case at the US Open.

Tennis Express

Organizers will also allow up to 5,000 spectators inside its main courts. The US Open did not allow any spectators on site.

Tournament organizers at the US Open faced their own criticism after French player Benoit Paire tested positive before main draw play began. Although he was forced to withdraw, multiple players that came in contact with Paire, but did not test positive, were allowed to stay in the event but only by adhering to stricter standards and isolation while at the event.

Qualifying rounds for Roland Garros will begin on Monday behind closed doors. Main-draw play begins next Sunday, September 27th before a limited crowd.


 

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