LONDON: Eighth seed Matteo Berrettini, runner-up at last year's Wimbledon, pulled out of the Championships on Tuesday after testing positive for COVID-19, he said on Instagram. The 26-year-old Italian, who lost to Novak Djokovic in the 2021 final, became the second player to withdraw from this year's grasscourt Grand Slam due to the coronavirus after Croatia's Marin Cilic on Monday.
"I am heartbroken to announce that I need to withdraw from @wimbledon due to a positive COVID-19 test result," Berrettini said on his social media account hours before his first-round match against Chile's Cristian Garin. "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."
Berrettini was seen as a leading contender to win this year's tournament after he claimed back-to-back titles in tuneup events on grass at Stuttgart and Queen's Club. "I have no words to describe the extreme disappointment I feel," the Italian added. "The dream is over for this year, but I will be back stronger."
Sweden's Elias Ymer replaced Berrettini in the men's draw, organisers said.