After Marin Cilic, Matteo Berrettini is the second ex-finalist at Wimbledon to cancel due to a corona infection. The Italian would have been a strong contender for the title.

Shortly after the start of the tournament, the corona worries grew at the grass classic in Wimbledon.

Like the Croatian Marin Cilic, last year’s finalist Matteo Berrettini tested positive for the virus and had to withdraw before his first round game. He was “heartbroken,” wrote the 26-year-old Italian tennis professional on Instagram on Tuesday. He has had cold symptoms for a few days and took a test in the morning, which was positive.

Berrettini had reached the final against Serbian Novak Djokovic in 2021 and was one of the top favorites to win the title. Most recently, after an operation on his right hand, he made a strong comeback and won the Wimbledon preparatory tournaments in Stuttgart and Queens. “I have no words to describe how extremely disappointed I am. The dream for this year is over, but I will come back stronger.” He will be replaced by Sweden’s Elias Ymer.

Cilic also has to pass

Four years before Berrettini, Cilic was also in the Wimbledon final. The 33-year-old canceled his start on Monday evening due to a coronavirus infection. “I still don’t feel good and can’t do my best,” he wrote. Cilic had trained with the top seeded defending champion Djokovic on Center Court on Thursday. Djokovic says he is still unvaccinated. There are no longer any corona restrictions in Wimbledon. Viewers are also not required to show proof of vaccination or negative tests.

Due to Berrettini’s absence, Wimbledon will take place without four players from the top ten. After the ban on Russian players because of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, world number one Daniil Medvedev, like his compatriot Andrei Rublev, is not there. Olympic champion Alexander Zverev is missing after his foot operation.