‘Upset and concerned’: Russian ace Rublev latest victim of suspected ‘superspreader’ event
World number five Andrey Rublev’s plans for the Australian Open have been thrown into uncertainty after the Russian star revealed he has tested positive for Covid-19.
Rublev was due to fly out to Australia as part of the Russian team for the ATP Cup, which kicks off in Sydney on January 1.
Beyond that, the Australian Open begins on January 17, although Rublev’s plans for the opening Grand Slam of the season have now been seriously disrupted by his Covid blow.
“I want to share some news with you. I am currently in Barcelona and unfortunately tested positive for Covid-19,” Rublev wrote on Twitter.
“I have minimal symptoms. I am in isolation and following all the protocols under the supervision of doctors.
“As you know, I am fully vaccinated and was preparing for tournaments – ATP Cup and Australian Open. Now I have to recover and I will go to Melbourne only when it will be safe for everyone.
“I am very upset and concerned about what is happening. Please, take care of yourself and of the people around you. I will return to the court as soon as possible.”
Rublev, 24, is set to be replaced in the Russian ATP Cup team by Aslan Karatsev.
World number two Daniil Medvedev has already arrived in Australia ahead of the tournament, where defending champions Russia have been drawn in the same group as Italy, Austria and hosts Australia.
Hello 🇦🇺👍. Excited to be back.— Daniil Medvedev (@DaniilMedwed) December 27, 2021
Rublev is the latest star to test positive for coronavirus after competing at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi earlier this month, which he won by beating British veteran Andy Murray in the final.
The exhibition tournament has turned into a suspected ‘superspreader’ event, with Rafael Nadal, Denis Shapovalov, Ons Jabeur and Belinda Bencic all announcing they had Covid-19 after appearing there.
Women’s US Open champion Emma Raducanu withdrew before playing in Abu Dhabi.
Rublev reached the quarterfinals in Melbourne last year and is tipped as among the younger generation of players who could get their hands on a Grand Slam title.
The Russian has eight ATP titles to his name and won Olympic gold in the mixed doubles alongside Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Tokyo in the summer.
The biggest question mark regarding participation at the Australian Open remains over world number one Novak Djokovic.
It was reported over the weekend that the Serb will miss the ATP Cup, while Djokovic has not revealed his vaccine status or given a definite decision on whether he will appear in Melbourne.
Only fully jabbed stars will be permitted at the tournament unless unvaccinated players are granted a medical exemption.