Johanna Konta, Britain’s No.1 woman player, has been forced to withdraw from Wimbledon on the eve of the tournament after a member of her team tested positive for COVID-19, the All England Club says.
Sydney-born Konta, who was seeded 27th, must undertake a 10-day quarantine period after being identified as a close contact even though she has not tested positive for COVID-19.
“A member of Johanna Konta’s team presented with COVID-19 symptoms this morning, and immediately isolated and undertook a PCR test in accordance with The Championships’ testing protocols,” a statement said on Sunday.
“A positive result was returned which resulted in the AELTC, together with Public Health England, identifying Johanna Konta to be a close contact. In line with government legislation, she is required to self-isolate for 10 days and therefore is withdrawn from The Championships.”
Konta, who reached the semi-final in 2017, was due to play Katerina Siniakova in the first round on Tuesday.
Wimbledon was cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic. The 2021 tournament is being held under strict COVID-19 protocols, with all players in a bio-secure bubble.
Unlike in normal years, they are all staying in a central London hotel and their entourage is limited to three.
Attendances are capped at 50 per cent for the start of the tournament as part of a government-approved ‘pilot event’ for the safe return of crowds to sporting venues.
Konta’s withdrawal will send shockwaves around the rest of the field and is a huge blow to the 30-year-old. She was in fine form, having won the Nottingham title in the build-up to Wimbledon.
She was in the bubble with her fiancee, her coach Dan Smethurst and her strength and conditioning coach Gill Myburgh.
“Both Johanna and her team member had tested negative on all their previous tests undertaken within The Championships’ protocols,” the statement said.
“Both individuals were advised of the positive test and close contact classification and are now self-isolating for the next 10 days.”
Lucky loser Wang Yafan from China will replace Konta in the draw.