Italian tennis player leaves COVID bubble, out of tournament

TORONTO (AP) — An Italian tennis pro was dropped from the qualifying rounds at a tournament in Toronto because he left the “controlled environment” meant to keep players and their team members from getting COVID-19.

Tennis Canada and the ATP men’s tour announced Saturday that 60th-ranked Lorenzo Musetti will not be allowed to compete at the National Bank Open.

Musetti is a 19-year-old who reached the fourth round at the French Open in June in his Grand Slam debut.

He even took a two-set lead against No. 1 Novak Djokovic at that stage before eventually stopping because of lower back pain and cramps while trailing 6-7 (7), 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-0, 4-0.

Tennis Canada and the ATP said that the letter of approval from the Public Health Agency of Canada that allowed the tournament to go forward amid the coronavirus pandemic stated that “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.”

Musetti was replaced in the qualifying bracket by Max Purcell.

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