Jetting out of Russia a human decision: Querrey

Sam Querrey left Russia in a private jet with his wife and baby son after all three tested positive for the virus.
Sam Querrey left Russia in a private jet with his wife and baby son after all three tested positive for the virus.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • American Sam Querrey, who was sanctioned by the ATP Tour for breaching Covid-19 protocols at the St Petersburg Open in October, has defended his actions, saying he did what he felt was right as a father and a husband.

The world No. 56 left Russia in a private jet with his wife and baby son after all three tested positive for the virus before the start of the tennis tournament, sneaking out of their hotel early in the morning without informing reception.

The ATP last week handed him a suspended US$20,000 (S$26,300) fine which will be lifted if Querrey does not commit further breaches of health and safety protocols related to Covid-19 within a probationary six-month period.

"I... had to make a decision between 10pm and 10am the next day," he told Sports Illustrated.

"I had my wife there, and I had my baby there, and as a human decision, I was like, 'Hey, I don't feel comfortable with this.' So we made the decision to charter a plane and leave."

Querrey, 33, said he was ready to quarantine in the tournament hotel for two weeks after testing positive but after two days, he was told he was no longer welcome at the hotel and doctors would determine if they had to quarantine in a hospital instead.

He added the lack of clarity made it necessary for him, his wife, and their seven-month-old son to fly to London and quarantine at an Airbnb accommodation.

"I felt as a father and a husband, there's a human element to this and I had to do what I feel like is right," Querrey said, adding that the flight cost him over US$40,000 while he also had to pay for the two-week stay in London.

"I wasn't willing to let our family go to a hospital for a minimum of two weeks where we were at."

The media coverage of the incident, however, left him "frustrated". He said: "It made it seem like I just got Covid and bounced. I didn't feel how it was portrayed after that was fair."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 07, 2021, with the headline 'Jetting out of Russia a human decision: Querrey'. Print Edition | Subscribe