Tennis star Guido Pella has teed off over how he was treated when forced to quarantine because he was a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case.
The world No. 36 was breathing fire in an explosive press conference that went for upwards of 20 minutes after Jeffrey John Wolf beat him 6-2 0-6 6-3 6-3 in their first round US Open encounter.
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Pella was pulled out of the Western & Southern Open — a tune-up tournament held just before the US Open — and put into self-isolation for two weeks when his fitness trainer tested positive for coronavirus.
Pella tested negative for the virus but still had his preparation interrupted — something he was fuming about after Wednesday’s loss in New York.
Asked about his past two weeks by tennis writer Tumaini Carayol, Pella let loose with a lengthy response.
Although admitting he was very much in “close contact” with his trainer, the 30-year-old was furious with how the process unfolded even after he’d returned a negative test result.
“The worst part was in the protocol. It was very specific that if we don’t share the same room with a person who tests positive, there is no problem, you can still practise no matter what,” Pella said.
“So we waited two days before they made a statement and said to us, ‘OK, you have to do quarantine because you were in close contact with your trainer’.
“So we said, ‘Come on, that’s not what it said in the protocol so you’re changing the rules right now’.
“After that we didn’t get a single call from them. We didn’t get nothing.”
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Pella said he pestered the ATP for “six or seven hours a day” asking what was going on. He finally received balls, weights and a bike to help train for the US Open, but they were “very poor”.
“They got us a court 35 minutes away from the hotel. But the court, I swear to you, was nothing compared to the US Open,” Pella said.
“It was like with trees and shade, the court was so bad so it was very tough for us to practice.
“We were practising but in horrible conditions.
“It was a very tough few weeks because we didn’t have anything from them (tennis officials). We didn’t have answers.”
Pella said every experience in recent weeks was “very bad” and “uneven”.
“I hope that in a few months or in a few weeks someone gives me answers about this,” he added.