After Marin Cilic, Matteo Berrettini has to cancel as the second ex-finalist in Wimbledon due to a corona infection. Andrea Petkovic advocates the return of a protective measure.

With a black and white photo and sad words, co-favorite Matteo Berrettini significantly exacerbated the corona concerns at the classic lawn in Wimbledon.

“Heartbroken,” wrote last year’s Italian finalist and, as the second prominent tennis professional after former US Open champion Marin Cilic, announced his cancellation shortly before his opening game due to an infection with the virus. In view of the rapidly increasing number of positive tests in England and no restrictions for players and spectators, Corona is back in focus after the tournament was canceled two years ago.

“I have no words to describe how extremely disappointed I am,” Berrettini wrote. “The dream for this year is over, but I will come back stronger.” 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.

Cilic also cancels

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. Players and spectators alike are no longer required to provide proof of vaccination or negative tests at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

There is also a tight crowd in the professional area, especially on the first days of the tournament. “When it rains, all the players and all the guests are in the restaurant and there aren’t many places to sit,” reported Andrea Petkovic after her first-round elimination.

Petkovic wants masks to be compulsory indoors

The 34-year-old also spoke out in favor of the return of a measure in view of her own negative experiences at the French Open. “If I had something to say, I would reintroduce the mask indoors,” she said, but also admitted: “It’s difficult because people also want to go back to normal life. It was really hard now, two years, I can understand that.”

The Darmstadt native had been infected with the corona virus around a month before Wimbledon. “I’ve been really sick for three days and then flat for five days, I couldn’t have played like that,” said Petkovic. She assumes that she got infected in Paris, where for the first time there was no longer a mask requirement in the cabin. She initially wore a mask for the first three days. “Then people looked at me so stupidly because I was the only one.”

At Wimbledon, too, up to 42,000 spectators crowded the facility without masks, and interviews with the professionals were conducted in narrow, windowless rooms. The number of positive tests in England had risen by more than a third to over 100,000 in seven days in the previous week.