October 24, 2021

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Jean-Julien Rojer out of Olympics after positive COVID test

The string of positive tests for COVID continues in Tokyo.

And the latest casualty – after his event had already begun – is Dutch doubles specialist Jean-Julien Rojer.

Rojer and partner Wesley Koolhof had already won their first-round match on Saturday, against the Belgian team of Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen.

They were due to play Marcus Daniell and Michael Venus of New Zealand later Monday. But the Kiwis have now won by walkover.

Koolhof and Rojer were the No. 8 seeds, and while they had the Columbians Cabal and Farah in their quarter, certainly had a shot to get to the medal part of the program.

According to the Dutch newspaper Die Telegraaf, Rojer received the news Monday morning in Tokyo.

Here is the statement from the International Tennis Federation.

The quote from Rojer (put through Google Translate, so let’s not take it literally):

“I’m so terribly sorry for everyone on the team. I did everything I could before and here to not get infected. I have no idea how this came about. I feel terrible and for my doubles partner Wesley this is also terrible,” he said.

According to the media reports, Rojer wasn’t staying in the Olympic Village. But he is the fifth person to come up positive from a KLM flight originating in Amsterdam.

Rojer had been set to play mixed doubles with Kiki Bertens, who is wrapping up her career at the Olympics.

The sign-in for mixed hasn’t happened yet. Hopefully she can go with Rojer’s men’s doubles partner Wesley Koolhof instead. (Koolhof is actually ranked higher than Rojer in men’s doubles).

Let’s hope Koolhof is okay; hard to fathom he might not have to be dealt with as a close contact.

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The Dutch team of Rojer and Bertens at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Bertens is bringing down the curtain on her career this week at the Tokyo Olympics. But she won’t be teaming up with Rojer again, as he’s come down with coronavirus.

One more added to the tennis COVID list

The Dutch chef de mission told Die Telegraaf that they had taken additional precautions at their accommodations as well.

But of course, Rojer would have contacted COVID long before he arrived, getting through several negative tests before departure and upon arrival in Tokyo before the virus made its appearance.

He was eliminated from Wimbledon on July 8, in the mixed doubles quarterfinals. So he wouldn’t have caught it there, as appears to be the case for a number of players.

Said Koolhof: “This is of course the worst news you can get as an athlete. Far from home at such a big international tournament. For me personally it is a shame that we are going out of the tournament like this. But my thoughts are mainly with Jean-Julien. I hope this nightmare is over for him soon.”

Rojer, like other athletes who have contracted the virus, will have to quarantine at a separate hotel for at least 10 days.