EIt sounded like something out of an agent thriller. An American infected with a potentially fatal virus that is piling up from a luxury hotel in St. Petersburg in a night-and-fog operation. Driven by fear of what the Russian authorities might do with him and his family. Who fled the country in a private jet and went into hiding. Rumor has it in Riga. At least somewhere in the Baltic States, they say. But no one knows more details at first. The American remains missing.
The spectacular escape of professional tennis player Sam Querrey had caused waves in October. Shortly before the start of a tournament in St. Petersburg, Querrey, a former Wimbledon semi-final participant no stranger to the industry, tested positive for the corona virus. The same was true of his wife and seven month old son. A quarantine was ordered to initially spend in a suite in the noble “Four Seasons” hotel. A little later, a transfer to a hospital or a luxury apartment of the tournament organizer was allegedly considered. But instead of submitting to the instructions of the local authorities, the family fled abroad on their own. A scandal.
Not only the professional organization ATP criticized Querrey publicly. Ultimately, his behavior was also an affront to any efforts to make tennis possible again despite Corona. The ATP identified a “serious violation” of its health and safety protocols and announced an investigation. The result announced this week: Querrey has to pay $ 20,000. But only if he allows himself another misstep in the next six months. On the other hand, he can avoid a temporary ban from the professional tour.
Relieved by the mild suspended sentence, Querrey then spoke up again. The 33-year-old described his version of the events in detail for the first time in the American magazine “Sports Illustrated”. Unsurprisingly, it sounds a lot less like a spy thriller – and much more like a family drama. With Sam Querrey as the hero. Because the 1.98 meter tall tennis giant from California reports of the worry of being separated from his own child.
After two days in quarantine, they were suddenly no longer wanted in the hotel. Instead, doctors should come to check the health of the three querreys. They would only have been allowed to move into a simple quarantine apartment together if there were no symptoms. However, because his son had just toothed and had a slight fever as a result, they were then frightened. “Nobody assured us: you will stay together,” reports Querrey.
In this respect, the secret escape from the hotel was the only right decision. “As a father and husband” he “followed the human level and did what felt right”. They went into hiding in London, in an Airbnb apartment rented at short notice. There they were completely isolated. “We did everything in our power to minimize the risk to others,” says Querrey. “And to be honest, I think we did very well.”