Tennis star Alexander Zverev has revealed he played with Covid-19 symptoms after his French Open defeat to Jannik Sinner on Sunday.
The no. 6 seed went down 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to the Italian and admitted afterward he should not have been on court.
While attending his post-match press conference in a face mask, the German was asked why his physio came onto the court prior to the match.
“No it was nothing wrong but I am completely sick after the match with [Marco] Cecchinato in the night,” he said.
“Yeah, what can I say? I’m completely sick. I can’t really breathe, as you can hear by my voice. I had fever, you know, as well.
Sascha Zverev casually letting the media know he has a fever and is “completely sick” right after playing through a 3-hour tennis match… pic.twitter.com/iJo2I0bwWh
“Yeah I’m not in the best physical state, I would say. I think that had a little bit of an effect on the match today.
“I warmed up today; I shouldn’t have played.”
The 23-year-old told the media he had a temperature of 38C (100.4F degrees) on Saturday night.
According to BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller, health and safety protocols at Roland Garros state that anyone exhibiting symptoms “must adopt a responsible attitude and not attend the stadium.”
The health & safety protocol calls for a “sense of duty and responsibility” and says that anyone showing symptoms – including fever and breathing difficulties – “must adopt a responsible attitude and not attend the stadium.” https://t.co/Mir9OOJcvG
Players were only permitted to participate in the tournament if they returned a negative test on their arrival in Paris, and again 72 hours later. They also continue to receive tests once every five days for the duration of their time in the draw.
It is not the first time Zverev has appeared to fail to adhere to coronavirus guidelines in recent months.
Less than a week after playing on the Adria Tour in June – where four players including world no. 1 Novak Djokovic tested positive – and vowing to follow self-isolation rules, Zverev was filmed at a crowded party in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Sascha Zverev six days ago after Adria Tour coronavirus cluster: “I deeply apologize to anyone that I have put at risk…I will proceed to follow self-isolating guidelines…stay safe 🙏.”Sascha Zverev four hours ago: pic.twitter.com/vqBXvYdxkv
Zverev reached his maiden Grand Slam final at the US Open in September, where he was defeated in five sets by Dominic Thiem, having reached his first major semifinal at the Australian Open earlier in the year.