Canadian star Denis Shapovalov is the first international tennis star this summer to test positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Australia.
News Corp reported on Thursday that world No. 14 Shapovalov was among the first players to enter the country ahead of his planned involvement in the ATP Cup in Sydney.
But the 22-year-old revealed on social media on Sunday morning that he was the latest competitor from this month’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi to test positive to the virus.
“Hi everyone, just wanted to update you that upon my arrival in Sydney, I tested positive for COVID,” Shapovalov posted.
“I am following all protocols, including isolation and letting the people who I’ve been in contact with know.
“Right now I am experiencing minor symptoms and look forward to getting back on the court, when it is safe to do so.
“Thank you in advance for your support and wish you all a safe and happy holiday.”
Shapovalov is now unlikely to be able to play in the ATP Cup, which begins on Saturday — or at least the start of the tournament — as he enters a minimum 10-day isolation period.
Canada’s first match is scheduled for next Sunday against the United States.
Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley confirmed the official protocols on Wednesday, which include all players having to be fully vaccinated or being granted a medical exemption.
They also must return a negative test in the 72 hours before flying to Australia.
Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, Belinda Bencic and Ons Jabeur also tested positive after Abu Dhabi, while US Open champion Emma Raducanu withdrew before the event started.
“We are dealing with a variant that is challenging because it‘s highly infectious,” Tiley said this week.
“Our challenge this year is going to be positive cases.
“We have modelled the potential of positive cases — there will be positive cases — and it’s just how we manage them and manage the location and the necessary isolation associated with it.
“Players that are testing positive now … they will complete a period of time when they’re no longer infectious, when they’re shedding the virus, then they will be fine.
“So, getting positive now is probably, if you’re going to get positive, a good thing.
“Never getting positive (is better) but if it’s going to be a situation where you want to play the Australian Open, your timing (to test positive) would be now, so the great thing is everyone’s vaccinated.”
The Australian Open begins on January 17, with most players set to land in the country in the next few days on tournament-organised charter flights.