South African tennis star, Raven Klaasen, has been forced to withdraw his name from this year’s Australian Open competition due to a positive Covid-19 test. The 38-year-old had hoped to link up with doubles partner, Ben McLachlan from New Zealand, in Melbourne, but tested positive for the Coronavirus days before he was set to leave the country.
Klaasen tested positive for Covid-19 in January and had been recovering, but missed the window set by the event organisers to make a full recovery and was thus not allowed to participate in the year’s first Grand Slam. Klaasen’s coach revealed that the player will be staying in South Africa and will play matches in Potchefstroom to keep up his fitness.
“The reason why Raven is not playing the Australian Open is that he tested positive for Covid-19,” said Klaasen’s coach, Stephan De Kock, “we missed the window period for players to fly in and go into quarantine. As a result of the virus, Klaasen could not train and prepare for the Aussie Open.”
Tennis South Africa was informed that Klaasen has chosen to take part in the two ATP Challenger events that will take place at the North West University instead. “This setback affected all our plans to prepare for the Aussie Open, and now there is a chance to play matches in Potchefstroom. Here in Potchefstroom, Klaasen can recover completely, and that will enable him to compete at a higher level,” explained De Kock.
Klaasen will be linking up with former Davis Cup partner, Ruan Roelofse, for the event in Potchefstroom.