The weak men’s tennis playing field at Tokyo Olympics got even weaker with Alex de Minaur forced to miss the pull out of The Games after testing positive for COVID-19. The Australian tennis star was tested positive just a few hours prior to the boarding. He was due to play singles and doubles with John Peers.
Australian team incharge, Ian Chesterman confirmed the news. “We have been advised that Alex de Minaur has had a positive test, at his mandatory 96-hour, and 72-hour pre-departure tests,” Chesterman said. “As a consequence, sadly, Alex will be unable to join the Australian team here in Tokyo.”
“We’re very disappointed for Alex, he’s said that he’s shattered (at) not being able to come. It’s been a dream since he was a child to represent Australia at the Olympic Games, but he has sent his very best wishes for the rest of the team.”
“We will now notify the ITF (International Tennis Federation), Alex was due to play singles and doubles with John Peers, and we’re still very hopeful that John can still be part of this Australian Olympic team,” Chesterman added.
“We do know that no other tennis players have had physical contact with Alex since he left Wimbledon on July 5, where he tested negative, and all other Australian players have tested negative since.”
De Minaur’s absence further weakens the playing field
As many as 24 players of the top 50 have opted out of the Tokyo Olympics on the men’s side. Big names like Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios will also not be travelling to Tokyo to represent their respective countries due to various reasons.
Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev will be the top seeds and will be the frontrunners to bag the gold medal. The Australian contingent will be led by World No.1 and Wimbledon Champion Ash Barty. She will be joined by Sam Stosur and Ajla Tomljanovic in the singles. In De Minaur’s absence, John Millman and James Duckworth will lead the singles charge.