The decision to offer players the option to sign the revised agreement raises the question of why Guido Pella and Hugo Dellien were not offered the same option when their fitness trainer, Juan Manuel Galvan, tested positive for the coronavirus and was isolated before the start of the Western & Southern Open, a tournament that preceded the U.S. Open at the National Tennis Center.
Pella, an Argentine, was withdrawn from the main draw; Dellien, a Bolivian, from the qualifying tournament. Both were required to quarantine for 14 days at the player hotel. Neither tested positive for the virus before or during that period. They were gradually allowed more freedom of movement, including the ability to practice on court. Both are expected to play in the U.S. Open with Pella, the 29th seed, to face American J.J. Wolf in the first round, and Dellien to face Marton Fucsovics of Hungary. Both of those matches are scheduled for Tuesday.
Stacey Allaster, the U.S. Open tournament director, confirmed on Monday in an interview with Tennis Channel that a group of players in contact with Paire would be allowed to continue in the tournament.
“Contact tracing has been executed, decisions have been made and we’re continuing on to have those individuals in the competition based on the medical science and all of those facts,” Allaster said. “They will be in the competition starting this morning.”
The two reigning singles champions, Rafael Nadal and Bianca Andreescu, are missing from the field.
Though there is still a depth of star power — future Hall-of-Famers Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Naomi Osaka, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have all entered the tournament — there are as many notable absences.
Both reigning champions, Rafael Nadal and Bianca Andreescu, chose not to attempt a repeat. Roger Federer has shut down his season because of injury. Fan favorite Gael Monfils, is, like the crowd that adores him, also absent. Six of the women’s top 10 are missing, including No. 1 Ashleigh Barty and No. 2 Simona Halep, leaving No. 3 Karolina Pliskova as the top seed.
With the lack of a qualifying draw this year, the entry cutoff for this year’s women’s singles draw was about 50 spots weaker than it was last year, in terms of ranking. There are still plenty of quality players in both singles tournaments, but its distribution is less even than usual because of the absences.