American Sam Querrey was placed in isolation by Russian authorities after testing positive for the coronavirus but left the country on a private plane, organizers of the St. Petersburg Open said Thursday. Ben Curtis/Associated Press

American tennis player Sam Querrey was placed in isolation by Russian authorities after testing positive for the coronavirus and then left the country on a private plane, organizers of the St. Petersburg Open said Thursday.

The tournament said Querrey and his wife tested positive on Sunday, the day before play started. They tested negative on arrival in Russia four days earlier. Querrey was withdrawn from the competition and his family was asked to isolate at a hotel.

Organizers said Querrey did not open the door for doctors who came to examine the family on Monday, with the player saying his baby son was sleeping. The family then left the hotel before a second scheduled examination the next day.

“Sam Querrey, as the hotel’s security cameras identified, left the hotel together with his family at 5:45 a.m. on Oct. 13 without informing the reception service. As Querrey told an ATP representative, he left Russia with his family on a private plane,” the tournament said, citing information from the ATP Tour.

The ATP said it was investigating an incident at the tournament, but did not name Querrey.

“The ATP is aware of an incident regarding a player’s serious breach of protocol relating to COVID-19 at this week’s St. Petersburg Open,” the tour said. “In accordance with ATP’s Code of Conduct, we are taking this matter extremely seriously and an investigation is underway.”

A spokesperson for the 49th-ranked Querrey did not immediately comment on the situation.

• Hard-serving American Reilly Opelka saved four break points in the final set before beating defending champion Daniil Medvedev 2-6, 5-7, 4-6 to reach the quarterfinals in St. Petersburg.

Second-seeded Denis Shapovalov had little trouble beating Belarusian qualifier Ilya Ivashka, 6-1, 6-4, and next plays Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals.

COLOGNE INDOORS: Top-seeded Alexander Zverev advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-1 in Cologne, Germany.

Zverev had seven aces and didn’t face a break point.

No. 2 seed Roberto Bautista Agut and No. 3 Felix Auger-Aliassime also advanced.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN: Australian Open chief executive Craig Tiley wants international tennis players arriving for the first Grand Slam tournament of 2021 to be exempt from the 14-day strict hotel quarantines that are mandatory now for inbound travelers.

Tiley said he remains “absolutely” confident the Australian Open will go ahead as planned at Melbourne Park from Jan. 18-31, along with lead-up events including the men’s ATP Cup and tournaments in Brisbane, Sydney and Hobart.

He said he is counting on Australia’s state and federal governments to relax border restrictions and grant special approval for players to go into a bio-secure training bubble, similar to what the U.S. Open and French Open did recently, to prepare for the tournament but remain isolated from the public.

“If a player has to … be stuck in a hotel for two weeks just before their season, that won’t happen,” Tiley told the Australian Associated Press. “You can’t ask players to quarantine for two weeks and then step out and be ready to play a Grand Slam.”

Roger Federer and Serena Williams, both of whom will turn 40 in 2021, have already committed to playing in Australia, but Tiley said players simply won’t show up if they’re not allowed to prepare properly.

SOCCER

ENGLAND: The rifts in English soccer grew Thursday when lower-league clubs rejected a proposed rescue package of 50 million pounds ($65 million) from the Premier League as they seek more cash without conditions.

A package of loans and grants was offered to clubs in tiers three and four, which are struggling without match-day income due to the pandemic.

The money is on top of 27.2 million pounds already advanced in solidarity payments, but the English Football League, which runs the three divisions below the Premier League, said the bailout was insufficient while insisting that clubs in the second-tier Championship should not be omitted from a deal.

HOCKEY

NHL: The Ottawa Senators signed forward Evgenii Dadonov to a three-year, $15 million contract.

Dadonov had 25 goals and 22 assists in 69 games with Florida last season. The Russian led the Panthers with a career-best 11 power-play goals.

Dadonov has scored at least 25 goals in each of the last three seasons since returning to the NHL from the Kontinental Hockey League.

• The New York Rangers agreed to terms with goaltender Alexandar Georgiev on a $4.85 million, two-year contract.

The 24-year-old, who went 17-14-2 with a 3.04 goals-against average and .910 save percentage this past season, is expected to back up Igor Shesterkin.

CYCLING

GIRO D’ITALIA: Jhonatan Narváez earned his first victory in a Grand Tour by winning the 12th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Thursday, and João Almeida held onto the pink jersey.

Narváez, an Ecuadorian rider with the Ineos Grenadiers team, finished 1 minute, 8 seconds ahead of Mark Padun, who had a flat tire on the final descent as the duo were leading the rain-soaked stage.

Simon Clarke was third, 6:50 behind Narváez, at the end of the hilly 124-mile route that started and ended in Cesenatico.

ROAD RACING

SUSPENSION: Former London Marathon winner Daniel Wanjiru of Kenya has been banned for four years for doping.

The Athletics Integrity Unit said it was “highly likely” that Wanjiru used prohibited substances, citing abnormalities in his biological passport. The 28-year-old Wanjiru’s four-year ban ends Dec. 8, 2023.

Wanjiru, who was provisionally suspended in April, won the London Marathon in 2017 and the Amsterdam Marathon in 2016.

A blood test from March 9, 2019, showed an “extraordinarily high” hemoglobin level, the AIU said.

In April, Wanjiru proclaimed his innocence, arguing that the biological passport “is confusing and frustrating.”

 


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