After the fall against the Argentine Juan Manuel Cerundolo in the semifinal of Challenger of Banja Luka, which was played on September 11, Thomas Etcheverry packed his suitcases and set out on a trip to Poland in search of his next goal: the Szczecin tournament. However, on the way he encountered an unexpected obstacle, which ended up becoming an ordeal.
Is that number 144 of the ranking, one of the great promises of Argentine tennis, He was detained in Germany, he was locked up for more than 24 hours and then he was deported to Argentina. Once he arrived in the country, the odyssey continued because He tested positive for coronavirus and had to spend 10 days isolated in a hotel.
In an interview with the newspaper El Día de La Plata, he gave details of what happened: “After playing the Banja Luka tournament, I was going to move to Poland to play the Challenger de Szczecin. I had to cross through Germany. It was all normal until, at the airport, when they asked for my passport, they pulled me to one side of the passenger line. “
“I was alone. I didn’t really know what was happening. I observed that they were talking among the immigration authorities until two members of the Military Police approached me. I honestly did not understand anything between the language and everything that was happening around me, I was very afraid “he continued.
“In the middle of words in English and German, They explained to me that I had exceeded the limit of stay, which is 90 days in countries that belong to the European Economic Community and they had to deport me. The truth is that at that moment I panicked, “added the tennis player in his story.
After they informed him what happened, the tennis player was handcuffed and transferred to a police station located in the city of Köln, where he remained in a cell for just over 24 hours. Attentive to what happened, the authorities of the ATP interceded to try to resolve the conflict, although they could not prevent that finally Thomas was deported.
“I accidentally made a mistake, since I exceeded the limit of being continuously in the territory of the European Economic Community for 23 days, which due to the pandemic was reduced to only three months, but my fault was in that I believed that when I went to play the US Open that period of time was not counted, but it was not like that, he kept running in the count “, assured.
And he clarified: “They treated me well, but I felt like a criminal. As soon as they told me that I was free, I took the first plane to return to Argentina”. But as we said, his odyssey did not end there. Because after two previous stops in Istanbul and Rio de Janeiro, the tennis player tested positive for Covid-19.
“It was another surprise. During my stay in Europe and the United States, they made me countless swabs, all negative. They transferred me in a special taxi to a hotel in Buenos Aires, where I was isolated alone in a room for ten days “, closed Etcheverry, who next week will return to the courts to play the Challenger in Buenos Aires.