With enough COVID-29 problems on their plate, Australian Open officials managed to avoid another complication after a departed player tested positive upon arrival in South Africa on Saturday.

The 463rd-ranked Greek Michail Pervolarakis had competed in last week’s ATP Cup alongside more noted teammate Stefano Tsitsipas, the world No. 6; but the journeyman left this week during the start of the Australian Open, in which he did not participate.

On Saturday, Open officials – whose own event is in the first day of a five-day lockdown due to around 13 positive virus cases in an  airport quarantine hotel –  said the positive test had no connection with the player’s time in Melbourne.

He reportedly tested negative before flying out of Australia on Thursday but positive upon landing in South Africa.

The 24-year-old journeyman whose only Tour experience has come at 2020 and 2021 editions of the ATP Cup, tweeted out a sledge at Australian organisers:

“After a 24-plus hour travel day from Australia to South Africa I’ve been diagnosed positive to COVID-19,” he posted.

“I am completely asymptomatic at the moment and will have to quarantine in an isolation facility in Potchestroom.

“I am not a person that complains, but I feel that I need to express my disappointment with the conditions we are in.”

Tennis Australia officials brushed off the post, saying that health bubble at the Open has not been compromised.


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