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French players in contact with COVID-positive Paire remain in US Open

The US Tennis Association announced Sunday that an unidentified player has tested positive for COVID-19 and withdrawn from the Grand Slam event that begins Monday in New York, with France's Benoit Paire later removed from the men's draw
The US Tennis Association announced Sunday that an unidentified player has tested positive for COVID-19 and withdrawn from the Grand Slam event that begins Monday in New York, with France's Benoit Paire later removed from the men's draw KARIM SAHIB AFP/File
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New York (AFP)

US Open players believed to have come in contact with Benoit Paire -- who tested positive for COVID-19 -- will remain in the Grand Slam, organizers said Monday.

France's Paire was removed from the men's draw on Sunday after the tournament announced that an unidentified player had been withdrawn following a positive coronavirus test.

Several players including Richard Gasquet, Adrian Mannarino and Edouard Roger-Vasselin had been in contact with Paire, according to French sports publication L'Equipe.

The report led to doubts about their participation at Flushing Meadows, but tournament director Stacey Allaster told Tennis.com that no player linked to Paire had been thrown out.

"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.

"They will be in the competition starting this morning," she told Tennis Channel, without naming any of the players involved.

A US Tennis Association spokesman confirmed that players suspected of having come into contact with Paire would now be required to undergo daily testing.

"Together with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the USTA has built an enhanced protocol plan for those players who might have been potentially exposed to the infected player," a spokesman said.

"As part of these enhanced protocols, or potentially exposed players will now be tested on a daily basis, rather than every four days."

The New York Times reported that players were required to sign a revised agreement to allow them to remain in the tournament.

As well as daily testing, the Times reported that the tighter protocols meant the players would only be allowed to leave their hotel rooms to travel to the US National Tennis Center.

They have also been barred from entering locker rooms and dining areas at the tournament site, the Times said.

They are required to use separate fitness, training and warm-up areas and only by appointment, the paper added.

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