The players at the National Bank Open events in Montreal and Toronto are in very strict COVID bubbles, as has been the case at most tournaments around the globe over the last year.
And the tournament in Toronto already has its first bubble-breaker: the rising young Italian star Lorenzo Musetti.
The 19-year-old, ranked No. 60, was pulled out of the tournament before his first-round qualifying match against Emilio Gomez of Ecuador.
He was replaced by alternate Max Purcell of Australia.
(Purcell has a knack – he was the alternate at the Olympics in Tokyo when Andy Murray withdrew. And he upset Félix Auger-Aliassime in the first round).
Here’s the statement from Tennis Canada.
“Tennis Canada and ATP can confirm that Lorenzo Musetti has been withdrawn from the National Bank Open presented by Rogers qualifying draw due to having left the COVID-19 controlled environment. He will be replaced by alternate Max Purcell.
As per the letter of approval issued by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to the National Bank Open to run the event, any individual leaving the controlled environment is in breach of COVID-19 protocol and will be unable to re-enter to compete at the event.:
Open Court has reached out to Musetti’s agent to see if he’ll add some context or detail to the situation. Will update if warranted.
But Tennis Canada isn’t messing around.
They can’t afford to.
The government allowed some 400+ people into the country for the two tournaments without them having to quarantine. But the player group are, at best, barely one-third vaccinated.
The bubble is serious business.
So they’re on the watch from the governmental authorities, for sure.