Adrian Mannarino revealed health officials told him he should not be allowed to face Alexander Zverev at the US Open before being cleared to play.
Mannarino was one of the players put in a “bubble within a bubble” in New York after being in contact with Benoit Paire, who tested positive for coronavirus.
The Frenchman’s third-round clash with Zverev was delayed before he was allowed to play, suffering a 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-2 6-2 loss to the German fifth seed.
Mannarino explained he was ready to go on Friday before officials intervened.
“Well, I was preparing to go on court. Actually, it was like 2.30pm. We knew there was a not before 2.30pm. I was just trying to get ready, warming up with my coach. I was actually ready to go on court. It was 2.30pm or something,” he told a news conference.
“The tour manager came to talk to me at this time. He explained me the situation. Obviously, the State Department of Health took over the city actually. The city actually allowed me to play with a new protocol on Sunday. Obviously the state took over this decision to say that I’ve been exposed to a positive case obviously, so I should be quarantined in my room and not be able to go on the tennis court and play the match.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 5, 2020
“They told me they were trying to contact on phone some guys to see if this decision could be changed. Obviously, many efforts have been done. They told me, ‘Okay, we decided to put your match not before 5.00pm’. Sascha [Zverev] agreed, which is nice. They told me, ‘We’re going to have a look at the situation, trying to see if we can get you on court today’, which obviously they did.
“Many things might have been happening during this time. I was just trying to get ready. I said myself to be ready to go on court at 5.00pm. I told my coach if anything happens, I give him my phone, I say, ‘Just try to see what’s going on, I’ll let you handle all these things, I’m just going to try to eat something, get ready, focus, just be prepared as if I was going on court at 5.00pm. Let’s see if I’m not able to go, then I’m not able to go. But if I’m in a position to be able to play, I just want to be ready’.
“I just want to be thankful to all these people who have been trying to get me on court today. As I say, many efforts have been done. I was able to play my tennis match. I’m pretty happy about that.
“Then I heard actually around 4.30pm or 4.40pm that I’ve been allowed to go on court today. I needed to be prepared to go at 5.00pm, which I did. Happen what happened. Unfortunately I lost the match. But still, as I said, I’m happy I was on court.”