Unvaxxed French veteran Gilles Simon has been summarily exiled home before the start of what would have likely been his last US Open, with the 36-year-old sent home under tournament COVID-19 guidelines.
The No. 103 was named as a close contact after his coach tested positive for the virus – possibly not surprising among what is estimated to be a player population where at least half are not vaccinated.
The Open which begins on Monday – along with the ATP and WTA – is coming under increasing pressure for hypocrisy for insisting all fans be jabbed while allowing players to get away without the preventative measure.
Simon appeared to be unrepentant over his disciplinary fate:
“Basically, I really did not want to (vaccinate). I am not very afraid of Covid.
“My basic philosophy is: If you are afraid of it, you vaccinate, otherwise , you don’t.”
Simon’s absence will hardly be noticed at Flushing Meadows, where he has never been beyond the fourth round with that showing dating back seven years.