Wimbledon, England – Matteo Berrettini, who reached the Wimbledon final last year, withdrew from the tournament on Tuesday after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Brittini’s announcement of his withdrawal came just two hours before he was due to take to the field for his first-round match against Christian Garin and his last Grand Slam hit was already shorter than usual for the stars and that was it. Stripped of ranking points For this version through the men’s and women’s tennis tours.
Berrettini, unbeaten on grass this season and seeded No. 8 at Wimbledon, was one of the early contenders for the men’s singles title. His withdrawal came a day after another player, 14th seed Marin Cilic of Croatia who reached the 2017 Wimbledon final, withdrew after testing positive.
The double withdrawal raised the possibility of an outbreak among the group of players at Wimbledon, which had lost several stars to injury and the championship. Russian and Belarusian players banned.
Berrettini and Cilic have been in contact with several players in recent weeks. Both played in the grasscourt tournament at Queen’s Club in London that ended on 19 June, with Berrettini winning the singles title and Cilic reaching the semi-finals.
Both trained at Wimbledon last week and used the locker room reserved for seeded players. Berrettini trained on Center Court on Thursday with second seed Rafael Nadal. Cilic trained at Center Court with top seed Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic, who said he is still not immune to the coronavirus, won his first-round match on Monday, defeating Kwon Sun-woo of South Korea in four sets. Djokovic did particularly well, but was far from his best in the other areas, looking weak and low on energy at one point and submerging himself in the water on the change. On Tuesday, Nadal played Wimbledon for the first time since 2019, defeating Francisco Cerondolo in four sets in the first round at Center Court.
Wimbledon canceled in 2020 Because of the epidemic and Strict restrictions imposed last yearFollowing UK government guidelines. Coronavirus testing was required for players, support team members, tournament officials and staff. But with government mandates relaxed this year, there is currently no need for testing at Wimbledon.
In a statement, the All England Club said its policy was “in line with agreed practice across the UK”.
The club said some health and safety measures were still in place. “We have maintained enhanced cleaning and hand sanitization and are providing full medical support to anyone feeling unwell,” the statement said.
No masks are required in the tournament, which is a rare sight on the field. But the player’s medical team continues to wear it for any consultation. It is also worn by a team of string racket on site. The club stressed that health and safety policies at Wimbledon are regularly reviewed and can be updated.
But the tournament clearly has a problem that could get worse.
In all, five of the top 20 players were unable to play at Wimbledon due to bans, injuries or illness. No. 1 Daniil Medvedev of Russia was banned from competing after Russian invasion of UkraineWimbledon’s decision to ban the Russians and their allies from Belarus led to the rounds retaliating by removing the standings from the tournament.
Number 2 seed Alexander Zverev has been out for a long time after tearing his right ankle ligaments at the French Open.
There was also an early upset on Monday when No.7 seed Hubert Hurkacz and his staunch opponent lost in five sets in the first round to Alejandro Davidovic Fokina.
Berrettini, a 6-foot-6 Italian, has missed several months of playing this season due to surgery on his primary right hand. But he returned to the grasscourt season this month and won back-to-back titles in Stuttgart and at Queen’s Club.
“I’ve had flu symptoms and have been self-isolating for the past few days,” Britney wrote on social media. “Although the symptoms are not severe, I have decided that it is important to have another test this morning to protect the health and safety of my fellow competitors and all those involved in the tournament.”
Berrettini and Cilic, like many of the top players, were staying in private accommodations in Wimbledon rather than one of the famous hotels in central London. This could reduce the risk of contamination, but there is also a new sense of surrender among the gamer community about the virus. Many have contracted the coronavirus, including Djokovic, Nadal and Coco Gauff.
“I’m pretty sure I have Covid, so I’m less scared than I was before,” said fifth-seeded women’s singles seed Maria Scari after her first-round win on Tuesday. “We have to go back to normal life again.”
Sack Scary has been infected with the coronavirus with food poisoning, which could also lead to him withdrawing from the tournament. French player Alize Cornet said the virus had become “part of the landscape”.
“There have always been infections and diseases,” she told French reporters on Tuesday, claiming there were several undeclared cases of coronavirus among the players at the last French Open. “In the locker room, everyone had it, we didn’t say anything,” she said, noting that some players had symptoms but had not tested themselves.
“We are not going to test ourselves and get ourselves into trouble,” she said. “I saw some women wearing masks because they didn’t want to spread it.”
Goff said she is relieved that testing is not mandatory for players and said she is happy that testing is no longer “every day or every other day”.
“I don’t want to go back to that,” she said. “I don’t get scared of testing, but it’s also, like, a hassle. I think with vaccines and everything, we kind of know that the viral load is low and it’s very hard to pass on if you’re a vaccinated person.”
But she said she would test if she had symptoms and encouraged her peers to do the same.
Berrettini has not been on the All England Club site since Saturday and now, despite his resounding serve and forehands, will have to wait until next year.
“I have no words to describe the extreme disappointment I feel,” he said. “The dream is over for this year, but I will come back stronger.”
Cilic, 33, was also in good shape, defeating Medvedev in the fourth round of the French Open en route to the semi-finals. With his long reach, massive serve and flat core strength, he’s dangerous on the grass and was, like Berrettini, one of the players to keep a close eye on in the bottom half of the men’s draw.
Cilic could have faced Nadal in the fourth round. Berrettini could have faced him in the semifinals. But Nadal’s trajectory now looks somewhat less difficult, if he remains healthy.
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