Guido Pella. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Argentina’s Guido Pella lashed out at US tennis chiefs on Tuesday, accusing them of operating a double-standard over the handling of French player Benoit Paire’s positive Covid-19 case.
Pella and Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien were excluded from last week’s ATP Western & Southern Open ahead of the US Open after their trainer contracted the coronavirus. Pella and Dellien did not contract the disease.
However Pella contrasted the handling of his case with the way players who came in contact with Paire were dealt with earlier this week.
Although Paire was excluded, several players who were believed to have come into contact with him were allowed to remain in the US Open draw under enhanced safety protocols.
“I want to know … why they did that to us and not the same with the French guys,” Pella said Tuesday after his 2-6, 6-0, 3-6, 3-6 first round loss to Jeffrey Wolf at Flushing Meadows. “I just want to know why they did that to us and they didn’t give us any information”
“I am mad at them because of that, because they change the rules when Benoit tested positive. So I want to know why.
“I just want some answers because anyone in my situation would like the same thing. It’s been 15 or 16 days and I still didn’t get any answer.”
Pella said he and Dellien were kept isolated in the build-up to the US Open, with limited opportunities to train and only with access to practice on a court which he described as “horrible.”
“Imagine if you are locked down for two weeks and the Benoit case, one day after he got the second test, 11 players that were involved with close contact with Benoit was ‘Okay, you will have a bubble inside of the bubble’ and you’ll be allowed to practice and play the US Open,” he said.
“Imagine how you feel if this happened to you. I hope that in a few months or weeks someone gives me answers about this, but I am not sure.”