A mysterious illness dubbed “US Open fever” is spreading in this year’s tournament – one player says she feels “like a zombie” while others are battling a cold and cough
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At this year’s edition of the US Open, a mysterious ‘bug’ has been spreading, with a certain number of players either suffering shocking upsets or having to retire due to illness before the tournament’s closing stages begin this week.
Tunisian tennis star Ons Jabeur, 29, told reporters after her second-round win over Linda Noskova on Thursday that she felt unwell during the match and struggled to put her top game on court due to a persistent cough and other syndromes .
“I’m a zombie because I have the flu,” said this year’s finalist at Wimbledon. “I take a lot of medication.”
Jabeur – the world No. 5 – added that she was taking “basically all the medication recommended by the tournament doctors”.
Her run at Flushing Meadows ended on Labor Day weekend when 23rd-ranked Zheng Qinwen of China surprised in straight sets (6-2, 6-4).
Tunisian Ons Jabeur said she feels like a “zombie” after contracting a flu-like illness
Dominic Thiem of Austria showed signs of illness during his second round loss to Ben Shelton
Petra Kvitova from the Czech Republic complained of abdominal pain before her second round match
And just like Jabeur, other players have fallen victim to the so-called “US Open virus” since the tournament began on August 28 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center.
Finland’s 24-year-old Emil Ruusuvuori was forced to retire before his first-round match due to an unspecified illness.
Austria’s Dominic Thiem retired in the second set of his second-round match on Wednesday after looking uncomfortable leaning on the net. It later emerged that the 30-year-old was suffering from stomach problemshe New York Post.
According to Tennis World, the Czech Petra Kvitova also reported stomach pains before she had to play against Caroline Wozniacki on Wednesday. The 33-year-old ultimately lost in straight sets 7-5, 7-6.
“I have the US Open bug… in a way I still feel like I’m in the tournament but at home,” tweeted Tennys Sandgren, who was eliminated during qualifiers for the competition, on Thursday.
“Definitely there is a bug in the Open,” he added in a separate post.
US player Tenny Sandgren, 32, openly admitted on Twitter last month that he had the “US Open bug”.
Pole Hubert Hurkacz, 26, also showed signs of illness on the pitch on Thursday and sought treatment from the tournament’s medical staff before eventually falling victim to Jack Draper The New York Times.
During the games, persistent snuffling, coughing and sneezing and other signs of illness were heard in the audience and on the pitch.
Players also carried tissues in their racquet bags, footage from the US Open shows.
In addition, former tennis analyst John McEnroe announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 on the second day of the tournament in August.
“I’m watching the US Open from home and can’t wait to get back to work soon,” said McEnroe ESPN.
Tournament organizers fear McEnroe’s diagnosis and the spread of worrying symptoms among players are the result of the spread of the COVID pirola variant, which experts have described as a health issue.
According to The New York Times, players who share many facilities and are not too far apart are not required to test for COVID at the US Open.