The last Grand Slam of the year is underway, and the players have run the gamut of emotions already. The US Open has witnessed victories, surprise upsets, and illnesses even before the first week is over. An unidentified illness has swept through the Flushing Meadows, claiming one victim after another. Ons Jabeur and Dominic Thiem were perhaps the biggest names to suffer from it.

Jabeur looked well under the weather during her opening match against Camila Osorio. She struggled greatly in the first set, hampered by breathing difficulties and coughing bouts. She went ahead with the match only after getting a medical clearance.

Thiem labored through his second-round clash, before retiring due to his health. He had apparently thrown up before the match and then doubled over in pain on the court.

Dominic Thiem at US Open
Thiem doubled over in pain (Credit: The US Sun)

Rising American sensation Chris Eubanks fell ill during the third set of his match against Benjamin Bonzi. He was so sick he was willing to forfeit the game in order to use the restroom. Emil Ruusvuori too, pulled out of the US Open due to this ‘sickness’.

The sudden bouts of sickness among tennis players are a cause for concern. Fans noticed a pattern and began to speculate about the possible causes of this mysterious sickness. 

Just last week John McEnroe tested positive for COVID-19. He was involved in an exhibition match, leading fans to wonder if Flushing Meadows has become a COVID cluster. “Are all the players getting Covid?” wondered a fan. 

Are all the players getting Covid?
by u/dazraf in tennis

The possible causes for this apparent sickness could be COVID-19 or a stomach bug. Either way, it is very unfortunate to see players struggle, or retire. Especially for someone like Dominic Thiem, who just won his first match at a Grand Slam in two years. 

Ons Jabeur battled breathing issues at the US Open

Ons Jabeur fought through breathing issues to claim victory over Osorio in the first round. The Tunisian is looking to change her luck after 3 near-misses at winning a Grand Slam title.

Jabeur was leading 4-1 before her energy level started to drop. She complained of breathlessness halfway through the set. Ons took a medical break, as a doctor checked her symptoms and blood pressure. Once cleared, Jabeur showed her grit, as she won the match  7-5 7-6(4).

Ons Jabeur and Camila Osorio
Ons Jabeur fought through her sickness to emerge victorious (Credits: El Deportivo)

The player opened up about not feeling well during the match. She also gave credit to Osorio who made her dig deep for this victory. “It wasn’t an easy match, she plays unbelievable and I’m not feeling my best today,” said Jabeur (Via Reuters).

It is too early to tell if the illness will wreak further havoc or disappear as quickly as it came. The title contenders will be extra careful in light of this sickness. 


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