US Open spokesman Chris Widmaier told CNN earlier this week the player couldn’t be named due to health laws but he was identified as Frenchman Benoit Paire by respected French sports daily L’Equipe.
He has since been identified by other players and on social media and Paire was officially replaced in the draw before the tournament started. An email sent to his agent Monday wasn’t returned.
A bubble was put in place at the Grand Slam due to the coronavirus pandemic, with players being shuttled between the tournament grounds and two tournament hotels in Long Island. All but a few are staying at those hotels, with the likes of Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams opting for private accommodation.
“Public health officials of Nassau County, N.Y., have issued quarantine notices for all individuals who had prolonged close contact to a person who previously tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus,” a US Open statement sent by email to CNN said Saturday. “As the players are staying in Nassau County, the quarantine notices prevent any of these individuals from commuting to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City.
“The USTA is obligated to adhere to government guidance at the State, City and County level. All persons who were identified as having prolonged close contact with the infected player will quarantine in their rooms for the remainder of their quarantine period.
“Kristina Mladenovic is one of these individuals, and as the Women’s Doubles competition has begun, the women’s doubles team of Kristina Mladenovic and Timea Babos has been withdrawn from the US Open.”
Delay on Friday
The withdrawal of Mladenovic came after compatriot Adrian Mannarino was eventually allowed to play his singles match Friday. He said he had also been placed in the enhanced protocol plan.
Asked why Mannarino was allowed to play but Mladenovic wasn’t, Widmaier said in an email to CNN it was because the “quarantine notices were served yesterday evening.”
Mladenovic and Babos were due to face Alison Riske and Gabriela Dabrowski in the first round. They made the doubles final at the US Open in 2018.