2021 runner-up, Berrettini, tests positive for COVID-19

Matteo Berrettini

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini, the 2021 Wimbledon runner-up and a title favourite this year, pulled out of the tournament on Tuesday after testing positive for coronavirus.

“I am heartbroken to announce that I need to withdraw from @wimbledon due to a positive COVID-19 test result,” the 26-year-old Italian wrote on Instagram.

Berrettini was widely regarded as one of the biggest threats to defending champion Novak Djokovic at the All England Club, having captured back-to-back grass-court titles in Stuttgart and Queen’s.

He is the second man to withdraw from Wimbledon with COVID-19 in two days after 2017 runner-up Marin Cilic of Croatia also tested positive.

“I have had flu symptoms and been isolating the last few days,” Berrettini said in his statement.

“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.

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“I have no words to describe the extreme disappointment I feel. The dream is over for this year, but I will be back stronger.”

Berrettini was a potential semi-final opponent of two-time champion Rafael Nadal.

Instead, his place in the Wimbledon first round will be taken by Sweden’s Elias Ymer, a lucky loser from qualifying.

Ymer will face Chile’s Christian Garin later Tuesday in the first round.

theeditor[at]punchng.com

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