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Alexander Zverev COVID-19 breach at Roland Garros after loss to Jannik Sinner

Tennis star Alexander Zverev elected to play his fourth round match at the French Open without telling anybody he had been left drained of energy while carrying COVID-19 symptoms inside the Roland Garros isolation hub.

Zverev said he “should not have played” after his last 16 loss to Italian teenager Jannik Sinner on Monday morning (AEDT) and complained of feeling “completely sick”.

It was revealed after his bombshell admission that he failed to notify anybody of his symptoms — a clear violation of the tournament’s rules in the middle of the global pandemic.

It has seen tennis commentators pile pressure on Zverev and tournament officials with vague rules that allowed Zverev to decide for himself if he needed to announce his condition or not.

The 23-year-old German has was earlier this year labelled “selfish” by Aussie Nick Kyrgios after a video of him partying without social distancing emerged just days after the ill-fated Adria Tour fell apart in Serbia.

Kyrgios has been a vocal critic of tennis players flouting the rules during the global pandemic, and elected not to play the US Open or the French Open. He slammed those taking part in the Adria Tour and labelled world No. 7 Zverev “selfish” when the German was caught partying after saying he would take precautions to protect against COVID-19.

It came after Novak Djokovic and several other players tested positive for coronavirus.

Zverev, the sixth seed, summoned the doctor to ask for a cold spray during the first set of his 6-, 6-3 4-6 6-3 loss and later claimed he had a fever.

Alexander Zverev is “completely sick”.Source:Getty Images

Zverev was up to date with his tournament-mandated Covid-19 tests, the French tennis federation (FFT) said in a statement. His last one was on September 29 — five days ago.

However, the FFT added that the German “did not consult the tournament doctors before his match”.

According to tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg, an official document given to players at Roland Garros to explain the COVID-19 protocols in place stated that the tournament’s medical team “must be notified” when players “feel unwell”.

Zverev failed to do so.

Should Zverev have done more to follow the rules? Absolutely, yes.

Should #RG20 have done more so that rules based on a naïve belief in “a sense of civic duty and responsibility” weren’t so easy to ignore? Absolutely, yes.

Can’t trust folks, y’all. pic.twitter.com/sBqFmKKgda

The US Open runner-up raised questions over whether he should have been allowed to play when he told reporters he had a temperature of 38C following his win over Marco Cecchinato on Saturday.

“I am completely sick after the match with Cecchinato in the night. I can’t really breathe, as you can hear by my voice,” Zverev said after his Roland Garros exit.

“I had fever, you know, as well. Yeah, I’m not in the best physical state,” said Zverev, who made 47 unforced errors and just 20 winners.

“To be honest, I warmed up today. I shouldn’t have played. But I was hoping maybe for a three-set win or something like that.”

Man down.Source:Getty Images

The FFT said Zverev’s previous coronavirus test was negative. The result was received on September 30.

“Today (Sunday) he received a reminder for his next test, to be carried out within five days of the previous results,” the FFT added.

Meanwhile, Sinner became the youngest men’s Grand Slam quarter-finalist since Novak Djokovic in Paris in 2006 with the win.

Sinner, aged 19 years and 56 days, set up a showdown with 12-time champion Rafael Nadal.

He is first player to reach the last eight on his Roland Garros debut since Nadal lifted the trophy in 2005.

Asked whether he was concerned for his own health after defeating Zverev at a tournament delayed four months due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sinner largely played down concerns.

“I didn’t realise anything. I mean, I think in the first set he asked for the doctor on court, but I didn’t ask for what,” said Sinner.

“I was focusing about myself. So if he had something, yeah, I’m sorry for him, for sure.” “He’s not positive for (Covid-19). We have got tested quite many times, you know, and obviously we were not that nearby,” continued Sinner.

“It’s like we always had the distance. I don’t think that I will have fever next days, or I hope so. Maybe I have. I mean, you never know about that.”

— with AFP

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