Wimbledon: Matteo Berrettini withdraws after testing positive for coronavirus

By Jonathan JurejkoBBC Sport at Wimbledon
Novak Djokovic and Matteo Berrettini with their trophies after the 2021 Wimbledon final
Matteo Berrettini (right) was beaten by Novak Djokovic in last year's Wimbledon final

Italy's Matteo Berrettini, one of the favourites for the men's singles, has withdrawn from Wimbledon after testing positive for Covid-19.

The 26-year-old, seeded eighth, was beaten by Novak Djokovic in last year's final and recently won the Queen's title.

"I am heartbroken," said Berrettini, who said he has had flu symptoms and been isolating for the past few days.

He has been replaced in the draw by lucky loser Elias Ymer of Sweden.

"I have no words to describe the extreme disappointment I feel," added Berrettini.

"The dream is over for this year, but I will be back stronger."

Berrettini was due to play Chile's Cristian Garin in his opening match at 13:00 BST on Tuesday.

He has won his past nine matches on grass after winning the Stuttgart final - where he beat Britain's Andy Murray - earlier this month before going on to retain his title at Queen's.

Berrettini only returned to the tour at Stuttgart after a three-month absence following surgery on his playing right hand.

Croatia's Marin Cilic, who reached the SW19 final in 2017, also pulled out of Wimbledon on Monday because of Covid-19.

Players do not have to test routinely at Wimbledon this year, which is back at full capacity for the whole tournament after some restrictions were still in place in 2021.

Covid infections are continuing to rise in the UK, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics published on Saturday.

The data suggested about 1.7 million people were estimated to have Covid in the week ending 18 June.

Berrettini said he decided to test on Tuesday despite his 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," he added.

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