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Thursday, December 3, 2020

Orange Bowl Begins Friday, But I Won't Be There; Wild Cards Announced

Just yesterday, when I tweeted about the USTA Winter Nationals being canceled, I mentioned that the Orange Bowl was still happening, and I was planning to travel to Plantation Florida to cover it. That changed last night, when I received the results of the Covid-19 test I was required to take prior to entry into the Orange Bowl tournament site. Much to my shock, it was positive, so I will not be making the trip as I had planned.

Working from home as I do, most of my face-to-face transactions with people come when I'm traveling and at tournaments, and of course, since the pandemic, I have not had the opportunity to do that part of my job.  Prior to taking my test on Tuesday, I went eight days without leaving the house, except for the daily walk I take in the nearby county park. I had no interactions with anyone (except for my husband) that would rise to the level of the CDC's contact parameters, so how I tested positive is a mystery to me. Masks are required here in Michigan, and compliance is very high. I saw no one without one when I went to the grocery store the Monday before Thanksgiving. I had, and have, no symptoms, and would not have had any reason to take a test but for the USTA's requirement that I get one.  My husband's test, taken a half hour before mine, came back negative, so it is difficult to see how I could have gotten the virus from him.

Although false positives of the PCR test are very rare, I did get another test done today, just to rule out that possibility. Regardless of the results of that second test, my husband and I still need to isolate for the next ten days, so obviously, a trip was out of the question. I'm most grateful that the test results came quickly, when I still had the opportunity to cancel reservations and did not endanger anyone else. 

I plan to cover the tournament as best I can remotely, but I understand that the infrastructure and staff will be stretched thin given these unique circumstances, and may not be able to set up many of the interviews that I would have done had I been on site. I've been told that live scoring will again be available this year, so I will follow the tournament the best I can via that route, but without any live streaming, the coverage will not be what I'm accustomed to providing at this event. 

The wild cards for the 18s main draw, which begins on Monday, are:

Girls 18s main:

Reese Brantmeier

Clervie Ngounoue

Sarah Hamner

Ashlyn Krueger

Vivian Ovrootsky

Qavia Lopez

Wild cards for girls 18s qualifying, beginning Saturday:

Rachel Gailis

Kimmi Hance

Grace O'Donnell

Leyden Games

Maxi Duncan

Julia Fliegner

Boys 18s main draw:

Bruno Kuzuhara

Aidan Kim

Ben Shelton

JC Roddick

Michael Zheng

Nishesh Basavareddy

Wild cards for boys 18s qualifying, beginning Saturday:

Gabrielius Guzauskas

Ryan Colby

Wild cards for the 16s main draw, which begins Sunday, are:

Girls 16s:

Aubrey Nisbet

Sophie Llewellyn

Brooklyn Olson

Emmi Kolyszko

Olivia Lincer


Boys 16s:

Luka Butera

Jelani Sarr

Benjamin Kreynes

Bryce Nakashima



16s qualifying begins Friday at 9 a.m.  The qualifying draws are here. The order of play is here.  No spectators are allowed on site this year due to the pandemic.


Tom C said...

Hi Colette, praying for you & your family.

Boca Tennis Mom said...

Hope you remain symptom free. We are doing the same, masks, no eat in dining, avoiding crowds. But the virus is everywhere these days. Going to be a very tough next 3 months.

I think it is totally irresponsible to have the Orange Bowl. Traveling, etc makes no sense. So many of these kids will never show any signs they have the virus. But they spread it among themselves and to their families. And the more virus in the community, the higher chance of the vulnerable getting it.

Why on earth would they need to hold the Orange Bowl when almost 3000 people a day are dying? And that number may reach 5000/day at the very peak. For goodness sakes, Americans are very bad at sacrifice. All we had to do is chill for 1 year until the vaccine came out. 1 dang year was too much to ask of Americans. How ridiculous.

Lisa Stone said...

Colette, hoping you and Paul stay symptom-free! This virus is brutal in that it doesn't care how or whom it infects. You are the 2nd of my friends who has tested positive after such limited outside contact. Please take care and hope to see you at an event very soon!

Ricky said...

Sorry to hear about your positive test, hope you are able to remain symptom free and relatively healthy. I always appreciate your thorough and high-quality coverage of junior tennis.

College Fan said...

Hang in there Colette. That is frustrating to not be able attend. I’m glad the juniors have the opportunity to play a competitive event. Tennis is seemingly a relatively safe activity. Wear your mask, wash hands, etc when off the court. Has anyone heard of transmission of the virus bc of a tennis match? There have been plenty of ATP/WTA/Challenger event in recent months. Also, the AJGA (Golf) just held its season ending championships. Last week the top 70 boys and girls played at PGA National in West Palm Beach on the same course they host a PGA event, the Honda Classic. The event included roughly 150 competitors from all over the country. The event seemingly went off without a hitch. Junior golf has more or less marched right along, playing the major events over the past few months. I know we have people on both sides of the aisle here. I’m not making a judgment. Just an observation that high level junior golf has been pretty active this summer and fall.

Dino said...

Dear Colette,

I pray for your complete recovery and I hope you and your husband are ok. It has been a challenging year in all aspects. I just returned from South America, the challenger series got a re-start and I was fortunate to be able to cover it. I am doing fine for now, so far took like 6 tests in a span of 2 1/5 months. Hopefully things will get better.
Kind regards and I hope to see you all soon.

Dino E. Garcia

Clark Coleman said...

I pray that you are healthy and symptom-free. I would say that false positives are not all that rare. Many re-tests have contradicted the original test result.