World No. 1 Novak Djokovic revealed he was aware of the Adrian Mannarino case and he was trying to help the Frenchman get out on the court and play his US Open third round match. The clash between Mannarino and world No. 7 Alexander Zverev was delayed for three hours as the New York health department wanted the Frenchman to be in quarantine since he was in close contact with Benoit Paire, who tested positive for the coronavirus a week ago.
Eventually, Mannarino was allowed to play his match and Zverev claimed a 6-7 (4) 6-4 6-2 6-2 win. "Yes, I was aware of what was happening with Adrian Mannarino. I was actually contacted by his coach during that process.
I was communicating with his coach for a few hours actually, trying to help. I was speaking with ATP, trying to get more information from the tour managers," Djokovic said after beating Jan-Lennard Struff. "I was also trying to get to the people that are in the highest positions in New York state through some of the contacts, trying to get to the governor of New York.
I understood that he was the only one that could actually make the decision to revert the decision that Mannarino was withdrawn from the tournament. "In the end, to be honest, I don't know what exactly happened. They just told me that finally Adrian was allowed to play and he was on the court, which I was very pleased to see.
I know that the tour manager, Thomas, told me they were working on that for many hours. They also see a lot of inconsistencies. "Unfortunately it's not in many cases up to ATP and USTA and WTA to make these decisions, make these calls, but on the New York health department.
We knew that coming into States. We knew there is a high probability that situations like this might occur.
Djokovic not happy with how some things have been handled in the bubble
"I am not happy with the way these kind of circumstances and this situation with the French players was managed.
I am not happy to see that Dellien and Pella were in a very similar situation and were withdrawn from the tournament. They had to be quarantined in their room," Djokovic added. "Then a very similar situation happened with the French guys, that obviously Benoit was positive.
We don't even know if it was a false positive because after a few days he was negative. "That's another thing that needs to be addressed, of course. There have been a lot of false positive tests as I've been hearing in sport, also in general.
But in sport I think it was an NFL team or somebody, or a baseball team here, that had seven or eight players positive, but then they actually determined in the second test it was a false positive. "That hasn't been cleared up here with Benoit.
He's quarantined. He's out of the tournament. Then all the other guys that were close to him maybe during this time, they were allowed to play. Pella and Dellien were not allowed to play. They had a very similar situation. A lot of inconsistency."