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By Erik Gudris | Tuesday, September 22, 2020


Damir Dzumhur was bounced out of Roland Garros after his coach tested positive for COVID-19. Now, the Bosnian is threatening to sue citing his coach's test as a false-positive.

Photo credit: TennisTV

With Roland Garros main draw competition set to start in five days, the event faces more criticism after several more players were forced to withdraw due to COVID-19.

One of them is now threatening a lawsuit over the action.

More: Novak Tabs Rafa as RG Favorite With One Question

Five players in the men’s qualifying draw were withdrawn due to concerns over coronavirus.

The French Tennis Federation (FTF) confirmed that two players and a coach tested positive, while three others with close contact with the coach also were forced to withdraw.

“In line with tournament health protocols, the five players will not compete in the qualifying tournament and will self isolate for a period of seven days. In total, some 900 tests have been carried out since Sept. 17,” the FTF said in a statement.

Later on Monday, a player in the women’s qualifying draw also tested positive bringing the total to six.

One of those players, Damir Džumhur, revealed that he was made to withdraw after his coach, Petar Popovic tested positive.



A post shared by Damir Dzumhur (@damirdzumhur) on

Džumhur, who reached the third round at Roland Garros in 2018, claims the results his coach received were a false positive. Džumhur is now threatening to sue the tournament unless they can reach a resolution.

“He (the coach) didn’t get a chance to do a second test and we’re sure he was false positive because my coach has antibodies,” Džumhur told Bosnian news outlet

Popovic went back to Serbia and had two additional tests done, both coming back that he had antibodies. Džumhur then posted his coach’s test results on an Instagram story. confirmed that Džumhur has now hired a lawyer to represent him with the goal of reaching a settlement.

Popovic, speaking to French newspaper L’Equipe, feels he and Džumhur are being unfairly treated and that if this were involving a top star like Rafael Nadal, additional tests would be given before the player was disqualified.

“I am 99.9 percent convinced that this positive is false and, above all, I am very sad for Damir, who was all prepared,” Popovic said. “He does not have the right to defend his chances. They disqualified him like that. It is a huge scandal.

“We felt so small and weak. I’m sure if it had happened to a bigger player he would have had the opportunity to prove that it’s not a fake. I think if Rafa was in our case, he would be entitled to a second or third test to verify. So we’re really disgusted with what’s happening to us.”

Tournament organizers are still planning to allow up to 5,000 spectators a day on site during the two week event. That despite a rising number of coronavirus cases in France.

Roland Garros main draw play starts on Sunday, September 27th.

After capturing her first Rome championship on Monday, second-ranked Simona Halep said she had heard the news about players testing positive and is concerned though cautiously optimistic Roland Garros will be safe.

"Yeah I heard before the match and of course it worries me," Halep said. "But I’m sure that measures will take place there and we’ll be safe enough to be okay to play and to be safe.

"I don’t know yet because I’m not there so after I will get there I will have a feeling."


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