REAL AUSTRALIA

Ellen Perez preparing for difficult assignment in US Open clash

Eye on the prize: Ellen Perez will open her US Open campaign on Thursday. Picture: Simon Sturzaker.
Eye on the prize: Ellen Perez will open her US Open campaign on Thursday. Picture: Simon Sturzaker.

Shellharbour's Ellen Perez faces a tough assignment when her US Open campaign commences.

Perez and Australian doubles partner Storm Sanders will play seventh seeds Victoria Azarenka and Sofia Kenin in the opening round clash.

Third up on court four, the teams will face off on Thursday morning (AEST).

The Australian pair enters the tournament on the back of a quarter-final exit at last week's Western & Southern Open.

Controversy has surrounded the US Open, with many players opting against competing.

Perez's doubles campaign comes after she missed out on a late call up to the singles draw.

Competition rules stated close contacts of COVID-19 cases would be required to withdraw from the bubble.

Doubles competitors would then be invited to participate in the singles competition, with Perez basing her decision to travel to New York on these regulations.

The rules were hastily changed this week after Frenchman Benoit Paire tested positive to the virus.

Rather than forcing close contacts to exit the tournament, organisers simply tightened restrictions to create what has been dubbed a 'bubble within a bubble'.

With at least one of those close contacts a female, the move may have prevented Perez from featuring in the singles competition and she was highly critical of the decision.

"The new protocols and procedures are misleading, disrespectful and wrong," Perez posted on Twitter.

"You're sending the message you can be a close contact to a positive person and be fine to play and be around others.

"How can one week you enforce the correct strict rules and the next week you not.

"You run a dangerously thin line with this. If any of those close contacts turn back an eventual positive test after having played I hope everyone takes action upon these reckless and dangerous protocols.

"This isn't a game. You spend so much money on trying to ensure the safety of the players to then get to a crucial moment where leadership is required and you let us down."

This story Ellen Perez preparing for difficult assignment at US Open first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.