Covid-hit Berrettini pulls out of Wimbledon as Serena returns

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Matteo Berrettini was forced to pull out of Wimbledon on Tuesday after testing positive for coronavirus as Serena Williams prepared to return to singles tennis after a year away.

Elsewhere on day two of the Championships, Rafael Nadal begins his quest to win the third leg of a potential calendar Grand Slam and women’s top seed Iga Swiatek starts her bid for a seventh straight tournament win.

“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.

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

The Italian was a potential semi-final opponent for two-time champion Nadal.

Wimbledon has returned to normal this year after the tournament was cancelled due to Covid in 2020 and last year was played in front of reduced crowds.

“We are following UK guidance around assessment and isolation of any potential infectious disease,” the statement said.

– Serena returns –

Williams, 40, won the last of her Wimbledon singles titles six years ago but reached the final in 2018 and 2019.

Nadal is halfway to winning all four majors in 2022 after following up his Australian Open triumph by winning his 14th French Open title.

The Spaniard’s win at Roland Garros earlier this month took him to 22 Grand Slam singles titles — two clear of Djokovic and Roger Federer.

There was a question mark over his durability for the two weeks at Wimbledon having played the entire French Open with his troublesome left foot anaesthetised.

“I can walk normal most of the days, almost every single day,” said Nadal, who faces Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo in his opening match on Centre Court.

Swiatek’s last match was a comprehensive victory against Coco Gauff in the French Open final — her 35th consecutive win.

Other players in action in the women’s draw include 2019 champion Simona Halep, who is the 16th seed this year, and last year’s beaten finalist, Karolina Pliskova.

jw/dj

Originally published as Covid-hit Berrettini pulls out of Wimbledon as Serena returns


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