After McEnroe's Positive Covid Test, Cases Of Players Reporting Sick Becoming Rife At US Open

After McEnroe's Positive Covid Test, Cases Of Players Reporting Sick Becoming Rife At US Open

by Nurein Ahmed

There is certainly more than what meets the eye regarding the list of players succumbing to illness at the 2023 US Open.

This year's tournament has been a graveyard for the seeded players. 13 of the 32 men's seeds are already out. That number is marginally lower on the women's (nine), but two of its top 10 players have been knocked out as we enter day four of the event.

But that isn't the only discourse raging at the US Open. There has been a surge in cases of sickness among players, likely due to a virus that has left tennis fans in shock and tournament organizers sweating. There have already been at least two documented retirements/withdrawals.

Players impacted include Dominic Thiem, who admitted to vomiting before his second-round match against Ben Shelton on Wednesday. The Austrian, who savored his first Grand Slam win since 2021 on Monday, was forced to retire after only one set.

Christopher Eubanks also appeared to struggle with illness in his four-set defeat to Benjamin Bonzi. The Wimbledon quarterfinalist rushed to the toilet in a hurry during a changeover in the third set. Thiem and Eubanks' cases drew parallels to Ons Jabeur's struggles in her opening win over Camila Osorio.

The Tunisian trailblazer experienced breathing difficulties and was regularly grimacing before getting medical attention. Jabeur weathered the storm in a tough final few games before closing out a straight-sets victory. She revealed that she came close to retiring from the match.

"I have the flu, so it wasn’t easy to play. I also have a history of asthma. So it was a very, very tough day for me. I did consider retiring to be honest, so many times. But every point, I kept going. I wanted to push myself to my limits. I’m glad I was able to fight today."

Ons Jabeur after her opening-round win

Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori was also another casualty. The Finnish star was scheduled to face Andrey Rublev in his opening match but withdrew from the tournament. due to an undisclosed sickness. Cases of players reporting ill or unwell are starting to be rampant.

Petra Kvitova, who suffered a shock defeat to wild card Caroline Wozniacki on Wednesday night, told the press she was feeling flat on energy levels. Fans are speculating the nature of the illness currently sweeping through the field could linked to McEnroe's confirmed positive test for COVID-19.

As per a fan comment on X, McEnroe who took part in the exhibition event - Stars of the Open - a week ago could have triggered an outbreak. Christopher Eubanks also played the event where no precautions were taken into account. American journalist Ben Rothenberg on-site at Flushing Meadows confirmed that signs of illness within the player lounge and press room are rife.


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