Two players have been withdrawn from Australian Open qualifying tournament in Doha, Qatar and put into hotel quarantine after returning positive tests for COVID-19.
American Denis Kudla, seeded No. 4 in the qualifying event which is being held outside of Australia for the first time, was withdrawn following a 6-4, 6-3 first-round win over Elliot Benchetrit of Morocco on Monday.
Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 6-2, 6-4 before he was withdrawn.
Tennis Australia confirmed in a statement there’d been two positive tests at the tournament and both men had been transferred to a government-run medi-hotel, where strict quarantine procedures were in place.
“Local health authorities, the tournament physician and medical team are monitoring each individual. Contact tracing is currently underway to notify close contacts,” the statement said.
The withdrawals mean Australian wildcard entry Dane Sweeny and Mario Vilella Martinez of Spain get walkovers into the third round of qualifying.
Australian media reported that match officials were made aware of Kudla’s positive test while the American was leading 5-3 in the second set, but planned to wait until the regulation change of ends following the subsequent game to notify both players.
The Australian Open has already been delayed by three weeks and is now scheduled to start Febuary 8 because of travel restrictions and quarantine arrangements in place for the COVID-19 pandemic.