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2 players out of Western & Southern Open after COVID contact

2 players out of Western & Southern Open after COVID contact

NEW YORK (AP) — Two players were dropped from the tennis tournament that will precede the U.S. Open at its Flushing Meadow site after they were in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

The Western & Southern Open issued a statement Wednesday announcing that the two players, who were not identified, were placed under quarantine and removed from the tournament field.

The Western & Southern Open normally is held in Cincinnati but was moved to New York this year as part of an unusual doubleheader of sorts with the U.S. Open because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Main-draw competition is scheduled to begin Saturday for the tuneup event; the Grand Slam tournament is slated to begin Aug. 31.

The U.S. Tennis Association announced Tuesday that one person -- who is not a player -- came up positive out of the 1,400 COVID-19 tests administered since last Thursday as part of the protocols for the controlled environment for the two tournaments. That person tested positive on a second test after arrival and was told to isolate for 10 days.

The ensuing contact tracing “determined that two players have been in close and prolonged contact with this individual,” Wednesday’s statement said. It added that the players are not experiencing symptoms.

“We expected this to happen,” USTA CEO Mike Dowse said about the initial positive test during a conference call with reporters Tuesday. “Mathematically, we expected to have a positive, if not more than one. So we did anticipate this and we have put very specific protocol in place to prevent this from spreading broadly. ... Our No. 1 priority is to take care of this person first, and secondly to prevent the spread from going any further.”

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More AP Tennis: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports