US tennis star who secretly fled Russia on a private jet after he and his wife tested positive for Covid-19 reveals they then flew straight to London with their baby and were allowed in with NO tests, checks or screening
- Sam Querrey dropped out of the St Petersburg Open after a positive Covid test
- He, his wife Abby Dixon and their son Ford then left the country on a private jet
- Querrey has defended the decision to fly to London despite the positive tests
- The former world No 11 and his family got into London without a test or a check
American tennis star Sam Querrey has revealed he got into the UK without any checks or tests despite fleeing Russia on a private jet after testing positive for Covid-19.
Querrey dropped out of the St Petersburg Open in October after he and his wife Abby Dixon, an American model, received positive test results. He was last week handed a suspended fine of £15,000 by the ATP for the breach of strict protocols.
In his first interview since fleeing Russia, Querrey has detailed why the couple decided to ignore rules to isolate in their hotel and instead take a flight to London with their son Ford.
Sam Querrey (left) has revealed why he chose to ignore Covid-19 protocol in Russia to take a private jet to London despite testing positive along with his wife, Abby Dixon (right)
The couple decided to ignore protocol to remain in their St Petersburg hotel and instead organised a private flight in the early hours to London so as to avoid being seen by officials
The 33-year-old Californian – who had concerns of safety and the prospect of being separated from his seven-month old son if he was transferred to a hospital – and his family left their hotel facility early in the morning unbeknown to staff and ATP Tour officials.
‘I kinda had to make a decision between 10pm and 10am the next day,’ Querrey 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 said he was concerned he might be separated from his baby son Ford (pictured left) had he remained in Russia with talk of being moved to hospital had he shown symptoms
‘I contacted a jet broker, and said, “Can I get a plane in, like, nine hours leaving from St Petersburg to London?” And he came through and got one for me. We left the hotel early in the morning so we wouldn’t be seen, and went right to the private jet terminal in St Petersburg and flew to London.’
Querrey says the decision to leave was made days into their quarantine after he claimed an ATP official told him and his wife they were no longer welcome to stay at the hotel and could offer no assurances that they would not be separated and sent to hospital.
Sportsmail has reached out to the ATP for comment on Querrey’s claim.
In response to why he took his wife Abby, 30, and son on the trip with him during such an unpredictable time for travel, Querrey said he was planning ‘a seven or eight week’ trip to play in St Petersburg, Cologne, Vienna, and then Paris and did not want to be apart from them both for that length of time.
The privately chartered flight is believed to have cost the former world No 11 $40,000 (£29,500). It is not known why Querrey and his family flew to London rather than home to America, although a private charter from Russia to the United States would have cost significantly more money. ‘That was a very, very expensive flight,’ Querrey said of his charter to London.
Querrey and his family arrived into London on October 13 and his family were able to enter the country with no tests, checks or screening due to the UK’s approach at that time in airports.
The ATP launched an investigation but eventually suspended a £15,000 fine for the breach
Querrey has been keen to set the record straight, having felt judged by the rest of the tennis community since the ATP emailed players and members that they were aware of the American’s breach of protocol.
In the interview he went on to add that he wore a mask for the duration of the flight – aside from eating or drinking – and did not explore the UK capital on arrival, instead going straight to their rented Airbnb property where they all quarantined for 14 days.
‘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. I wasn’t willing to let our family go to a hospital for a minimum of two weeks where we were at,’ he added.
‘In my opinion, we didn’t really put anyone in danger. We kept to ourselves, we had two masks on, we did everything we possibly could in that journey to minimise exposure to anyone, and frankly, I think we did a great job. Talking to doctors [afterwards] they were like, “Look, you guys did a great job of doing that, and I can’t simply see how you would have passed it (the virus) along to anyone during that trip”.’
In their investigation verdict the ATP said that it took into consideration Querrey’s ‘many years of otherwise good standing with the ATP and other mitigating factors’ in coming to their decision.
Querrey’s best performance in a tennis Grand Slam tournament was in reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2017. He is most noted for his big serve but is currently ranked No 56 in the world. He has won 10 titles on the ATP Tour.
Querrey was planning a ‘seven or eight’ week trip and did not want to be away from his family
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