Saturday, July 4, 2020

Tiafoe Tests Positive for Covid-19; Eubanks, King Called in as Subs in DraftKings Event; Ma Commits to Stanford; McNally Wins Again in Kentucky

Frances Tiafoe played, and won, his first match of the DraftKings All-American Team Cup Friday, beating Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-6(5), but this morning the 22-year-old American announced he had tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. Tiafoe had taken a medical timeout in his match with Querrey, but because he had tested negative in Florida prior to arriving in Peachtree City Georgia, he did not think the virus was responsible for his fatigue. I am not clear on why each player wasn't tested the minute he arrived in Georgia, and I had seen a photo of Reilly Opelka undergoing a test recently, so I assumed all eight players were tested, but the announcement from the tournament says only "Like all the players, Tiafoe was tested prior to or upon arrival in Atlanta and has passed daily temperature tests."

The tournament, which is allowing socially distancing fans, has continued despite Tiafoe's positive test, with substitutes from nearby Georgia Tech have been called in to play in place of Tiafoe and Opelka, with Opelka bowing out of his Saturday matches with what is being described as an injury.
Eubanks played the Kalamazoo Opening Night Exhibition in 2018
Chris Eubanks, subbing for Tiafoe, defeated Tennys Sandgren 6-3, 7-6(5) this afternoon, while Kevin King, subbing for Opelka, lost to John Isner 6-1, 6-3.

After the women's event in Charleston went off without incident last weekend, there was hope that this men's event could provide additional optimism for next month's return of the ATP/WTA in the United States. But with no indication that the virus is in any way controlled in this country in the past week or two, and now this, the outlook for the return of professional tennis is getting murky. World Team Tennis begins a week from tomorrow at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, and the first week of that competition may prove to be a make-or-break situation for other events in the United States.

Parsa Nemati posted one of his biggest bombs of the year yesterday, with Connie Ma, No. 1 in the Tennis Recruiting Class of 2021, committing to Stanford. Ma, who is from Northern California and has always prioritized school over tennis tournaments, is entered in the USTA Girls 18s Nationals in San Diego next month. 
Eighteen-year-old Caty McNally has won both of the singles matches she has played at the Young Kings Scholarship tournament in Nicholasville Kentucky this weekend. McNally saved three match points in her 4-6, 7-5 10-7 win over CiCi Bellis Friday, and today she breezed past Leylah Fernandez of Canada 6-2, 6-2. Shelby Rogers is also 2-0 in singles, having beaten Jamie Loeb Friday and Jessica Pegula today. For scores from the past two days, click here.