USA tennis player Denis Kudla tested positive for COVID-19 at the Australian Open qualifiers in Doha on Monday, with officials interrupting his match to deliver the result.
Players are set to begin arriving in Melbourne this week for the Australian Open and Victoria's government has said it was imposing the strongest protocols seen at any tennis tournament for the February 8-21 event.
Rules instructed that the game between the two had to finish before a result would be determined, with Kudla making it 6-3, but if Benchetrit had won that game to make it 5-4 he would have been declared the victor by walkover.
He then had to wait to see if he would have face the "double whammy" of losing the match and then having to spend a week in hotel quarantine in Qatar if he also tested positive.
"Local health authorities, the tournament physician and medical team are monitoring each individual".
Australian wildcard Dane Sweeny received a walkover into the third and final round of qualifying due to Kudla's withdrawal.
Denis Kudla became aware of the transition to the new coronovirus during the game against Morocco Elliot Bencreath, who won the first qualifying round for the Australian Open in Doha.
Also advancing on account of a walkover was Mario Vilella Martinez of Spain after Cerundolo beat Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2 6-4 before being withdrawn. After the match, Benchetrit took to Instagram as he said that the match would have been stopped had he won the ninth game and reduced the deficit to 5-4.
Benchetrit further expressed his concern in an interview with Tennis Majors, stating that players were permitted to play before receiving their results.
The Herald Sun has contacted Tennis Australia for comment.
"The concept of a test is to have the information up front, to not put the linespeople, the opponent or, quite simply, everyone the person might meet before or after their match, in danger", said Benchetrit.
Kudla broke serve to win the match, meaning both he and Benchetrit were out of the tournament. "There are also lucky losers who are waiting for a forfeit to be able to play, who made the trip for nothing". The player is then notified as soon as possible, which can be during a match.
Benchetrit believes Kudla and Cerundolo must have contracted the coronavirus in Doha, given this would have been their third test since arriving in the country.
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