Fernando Verdasco Intends to Sue French Open over Positive COVID-19 Test

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 29, 2020

Spain's Fernando Verdasco waves as he leaves the court following his third round loss to Germany's Alexander Zverev at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Andy Brownbill/Associated Press

Fernando Verdasco told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser that he intends to sue French Open organizers because he was not allowed to take a second COVID-19 test after an initial one revealed a positive result, thereby forcing him to withdraw from the tournament. 

"Do I want to sue Roland Garros? Yes, obviously," he said, per PA Media (h/t Sky Sports). "Nobody can believe that a tournament like Roland Garros can do that. It can't be.

"It is not a thing about money, it is a thing of damage which this does you personally and professionally."

Per PA Media, Verdasco has taken two independent COVID-19 tests since his positive test. Both of those results were negative.

The International Tennis Federation runs the French Open. Verdasco expressed his disappointment in the organizers and said he was so upset that he may not play for the remainder of the 2020 season:

"I don't know if I'm going to play again this year or not because you lose the desire for everything.

"They [French Open organisers] do things as they please, without any coherence and without any respect. The rights of the players count for nothing.

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"Then the next day, following when I have been left out of the draw, they change the rules and now you can do a second test—that was the final straw."

Verdasco was one of six players forced to withdraw after a positive COVID-19 test result, with others including Milos Raonic and Belinda Bencic, per Reuters. Verdasco said he was asymptomatic when he tested positive in August.

The 36-year-old Verdasco is ranked 59th on the ATP Tour men's singles rankings. The Spaniard has taken part in the French Open for the past 17 years.

Verdasco has seven career singles titles on his resume. He reached an ATP ranking high of No. 7 in 2009, a year that marked his best-ever finish after his appearance in the Australian Open semifinals.