Olympics in chaos as de Minaur tests positive

Australia’s preparations for the Tokyo Olympics have been thrown into chaos, with confirmation tennis player Alex de Minaur has tested positive to COVID-19.

The news has been confirmed by the AOC’s Chef de Mission, Ian Chesterman.

“We have been advised that Alex de Minaur has had a positive test, at his mandatory 96-hour, and 72-hour pre-departure tests,” Chesterman said.

“As a consequence, sadly, Alex will be unable to join the Australian team here in Tokyo.

“We’re very disappointed for Alex, he’s said that he’s shattered (at) not being able to come.

“It’s been a dream since he was a child to represent Australia at the Olympic Games, but he has sent his very best wishes for the rest of the team.”

The world No.17 is Australia’s top ranked singles player.

“We will now notify the ITF (International Tennis Federation), Alex was due to play singles and doubles with John Peers, and we’re still very hopeful that John can still be part of this Australian Olympic team,” Chesterman said.

“We do know that no other tennis players have had physical contact with Alex since he left Wimbledon on July 5, where he tested negative, and all other Australian players have tested negative since.”

Atlanta gold medallist Todd Woodbridge says the news is heartbreaking for de Minaur.

“It’s devastating for ‘Demon’,” Woodbridge told Wide World of Sports.

“He absolutely loves playing for his country. He has ‘109’ tattooed on his chest, which is his Davis Cup number. He plays his heart out for Australia.

“This was his chance to potentially win a medal, given the field that’s in Tokyo. To have that taken away from you, it would be so hard to take.”

De Minaur was hoping to make amends for a disappointing first-round exit at Wimbledon, where he lost to rising star Sebastian Korda in four sets.

De Minaur’s absence further weakens the men’s field, which is already missing a host of players including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Nick Kyrgios, although Novak Djokovic confirmed his participation this morning.

Australia’s 11-strong tennis team has now been reduced to nine, with the absence of both Kyrgios and de Minaur.

Newly-crowned Wimbledon champion Ash Barty will lead the women’s charge, with Sam Stosur and Ajla Tomljanovic joining her in the singles competition.

Barty will play doubles with Storm Sanders, while Stosur teams up with Ellen Perez.

On the men’s side, John Millman and James Duckworth will play singles, with Millman and Luke Saville playing doubles together. De Minaur was to have played doubles with John Peers.

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