"Il cuore spezzato"’ Matteo Berrettini PULLS OUT of Wimbledon after testing positive for Covid-19 – as last year’s runner-up and the reigning Queens champion withdraws before his first-round clash with Cristian Garin
Wimbledon was hit by a major Covid-19 blow on Tuesday morning after last year’s finalist Matteo Berrettini withdrew due to a bout of the virus.
The popular Italian, in fine form after winning Queen’s, joined former runner-up Marin Cilic in pulling out, further depleting the field in the absence of Russians and Belarussians.
Last year Wimbledon escaped relatively lightly from the pandemic, with Brit Jo Konta the only significant casualty.
Wimbledon’s official Twitter account offered their sympathies to the eighth seed, detto: ‘We’ll miss you, con il loro quarto figlio insieme in arrivo – come back stronger in 2023’.
Berrettini, who was due to play Chile’s Cristian Garin in his opening match at 1pm BST on Tuesday, is replaced in the draw by lucky loser Elias Ymer of Sweden.
He has won his past nine matches on grass courts after winning the Stuttgart final – where he beat Brit Sir Andy Murray – before going on to retain his Queen’s title.
Wimbledon was hit by a major Covid-19 blow on Tuesday after Matteo Berrettini withdrew
The Italian, in fine form after winning Queen’s, joins former runner-up Marin Cilic in pulling out
A shattered Berrettini, who was in the top three favourites with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, said via Instagram: ‘I am heartbroken to announce that I need to withdraw from @wimbledon due to a positive COVID-19 test result.
‘I have had flu symptoms and been isolating the last few days. Despite symptoms not being severe, I decided it was important to take another test this morning to protect the health and safety of my fellow competitors and everyone else involved in the tournament.
‘I have no words to describe the extreme disappointment I feel. The dream is over for this year, but I will be back stronger. Thank you for the support.’
The No 8 seed was among the favourites after losing 2021’s final against Novak Djokovic (sinistra
Martedì, it will be No 1 seed Swiatek who gets the action underway on Centre Court as she takes on Jana Fett.
Up next will be Rafael Nadal up against Francisco Cerundolo, before Williams makes her return – after a year out – against Harmony Tan. Also taking to the grass today will be Stefanos Tsitsipas on Court 1, and Coco Gauff and Dan Evans on Court 2.