WIMBLEDON, England — 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.
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.
The ban means the world’s No. 1-ranked men’s player, Daniil Medvedev of Russia, is blocked from competing. The world No. 2 Alexander Zverev is out for an extended period after tearing ligaments in his right ankle at the French Open earlier this month.
Berrettini, a strapping 6-foot-6 Italian, missed several months of action earlier this season because of surgery on his right hand, his primary playing hand. But he returned for the grass-court season earlier this month and won consecutive titles in Stuttgart and at Queen’s Club.
“I am heartbroken,” Berrettini said in a post on his Instagram account announcing his withdrawal. “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.
“I have no words to describe the extreme disappointment I feel. The dream is over for this year, but I will be back stronger.”