Berrettini Out of Wimbledon as Coronavirus Enters the Draw

The exit of Matteo Berrettini, who reached the men’s final last year, came one day after Croatia’s Marin Cilic withdrew after testing positive.

Matteo Berrettini, a finalist at Wimbledon last year, withdrew from this year’s tournament on Tuesday after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Berrettini’s announcement of his withdrawal came only about two hours before he was to take to the court for his first-round match against Cristian Garin and was the latest blow to a Grand Slam tournament that was already shorter than usual on stars and has been stripped of ranking points for this edition by the men’s and women’s tours.

Berrettini, who is undefeated on grass courts this season and seeded No. 8 at Wimbledon, was one of the leading contenders for the men’s singles title. 

His withdrawal came one day after another player, Marin Cilic, the No. 14 seed from Croatia and a 2017 Wimbledon finalist, also withdrew after testing positive.

The dual withdrawal raised the prospect of an outbreak among the player group at Wimbledon, which is already missing several stars because of injury and the tournament’s ban on Russian and Belarusian players.

Berrettini and Cilic have been in contact in recent weeks with many players. Both played at the grass-court tournament in Queen’s Club in London that ended on June 19, with Berrettini winning the singles title and Cilic reaching the semifinals.

Both practiced at Wimbledon last week and used the locker room reserved for seeded players. Berrettini trained on Centre Court on Thursday with Rafael Nadal, the No. 2 seed. Cilic trained on Centre Court with Novak Djokovic, the No. 1 seed.

Djokovic, who has said that he remains unvaccinated for the coronavirus, won his first-round match on Monday, defeating Kwon Soon-woo of South Korea in four sets.

Djokovic served particularly well but was far from his sharpest in other areas, looking low on energy at one stage and dousing himself with water on a changeover. On Tuesday, Nadal was scheduled to play at Wimbledon for the first time since 2019, facing Francisco Cerundolo in the first round on Centre Court.

Wimbledon was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic and instituted strict restrictions last year, following British government guidelines. Coronavirus testing was required for players, support team members and tournament officials and employees. But with the loosening of government mandates this year, no testing is currently required at Wimbledon.