Sitak endures nightmare journey to ATP tournament

Monday, 22 February 2021

No sooner has the Australian Open finished the ATP season has resumed and Artem Sitak is the first New Zealander underway. He has endured a nightmare 75-hour journey from Melbourne to Cordoba in Argentina for the ATP 250 tournament and has teamed up with Nick Monroe, one of his former partners.

They play Monaco’s Romain Arneodo and Frenchman Benoit Paire in the first round on Tuesday morning.

“They are very tricky, Paire is such a good player, but even if he comes out with his best form, we will be ready for that”. Sitak said.

But it has been some ordeal for Sitak and his wife Anya to get to the Argentine city as Sitak explains.

“I left last Tuesday morning from Melbourne at 5 am to Sydney and then Los Angeles and onto Dallas. Where I met up with Anya.” Sitak said.

“There was a snowstorm in Dallas, and they cancelled the flight to Buenos Aires while we were on the plane because they were short of one crew member who was stuck somewhere because of snow. So, we rushed to the American Airlines counter and first they put me on the 6pm next day flight to Bogota and then the 9pm the next day to Buenos Aires as they were the only options available.”

“But we couldn’t go anywhere because half the hotels were not functioning because they lost power and half were totally full. So, it was impossible to go to a hotel toom in Dallas. We stayed on the floor in Dallas airport and it was extremely cold, impossible to sleep. At 8am I went back to the counter and said please is there anything earlier and they got us on a Dallas to Miami, Miami- Buenos Aires and then Buenos Aires to Cordoba and so overall it was 75 hours. It’s tough, I’m exhausted and the body is in shock.” Sitak revealed.

Meanwhile Michael Venus is in managed isolation in Auckland and emerges on Friday week. With his wife Sally due with the couple’s second child in early April, it’s unclear at this stage when the Kiwi number one will resume his ATP season with Aussie partner John Peers.

Marcus Daniell has headed to the US and is likely to resume his campaign with Austrian partner Philipp Oswald at the ATP 500 tournament in Acapulco next month.

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