Italy’s Matteo Berrettini, who finished second last year, announced his withdrawal from Wimbledon, the third Grand Slam tennis tournament, due to a Covid-19 infection ahead of today’s first round match.
“It is with a broken heart that I announce my withdrawal from Wimbledon as a result of testing positive for Covid-19,” wrote the world number 11 in a post on his Instagram page.
Organizers confirmed the departure of the Italian, who was due to face Chilean Christian Garin (world No. 43) later on Tuesday, and announced that he was replaced by “happy loser” Swede Elias Jimmer (world No. 137), who was eliminated in last round of qualification.
Berrettini was one of the brightest candidates in the Wimbledon title battle with Serb Novak Djokovic in first place after finishing second last year and winning the Stuttgart and Queens grass court tournaments in the past two weeks.
Berrettini followed the same path with Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who was crowned in Australia this year.
Open and Roland Garros and there was a chance they would meet in the semi-finals, but Covid-19 prevented the Italian from trying to catch up last year and win the Wimbledon title this year.
The Italian became the second person to withdraw from Wimbledon due to Covid-19 after Croat Marin Cilic in the summer of 2017.