Rafael Nadal allays Covid-19 close contact fears after Matteo Berrettini’s Wimbledon withdrawal

Rafael Nadal in front of the Wimbledon logo

Rafael Nadal is “feeling great” and has no concerns about Covid-19 despite spending time with Matteo Berrettini on the practice court before the Italian’s withdrawal from Wimbledon.

Last year’s Wimbledon runner-up Berrettini pulled out of the grass-court Grand Slam just hours before his opening match on Tuesday due to a positive Covid-19 test result.

The eighth seed was one of the pre-tournament favourites as he won the Stuttgart Open and Queen’s Club Championships ahead of Wimbledon.

“I have had flu symptoms and been isolating the last few days,” the Italian wrote. “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.”

Berrettini trained with Nadal on Centre Court before the tournament started and the Spaniard was asked after his first-round win over Francisco Cerundolo if he had any concerns.

“Difficult to be a close contact when you are outside, practicing outdoors [as] things are historically more difficult, but anything can happen,” he said.

“At the moment I am feeling great. No problems at all.

“The main thing is I feel very sorry for him because he was playing fantastic, winning two tournaments before Wimbledon started. He is a very good colleague on tour and I we know each other well. I know how sad he will feel today.

“Sorry for him. Wish him a quick recovery, he was unlucky the last couple of months without a doubt.”

There have been reports in recent days that players tested positive at the French Open, but were told to keep quiet while it was also put to Nadal that current rules state it is up to the player to decide if they want to withdraw after a positive test with Berrettini deciding it is best to pull out.

“At Roland Garros I don’t remember cases if somebody had a positive I don’t know. Honestly I don’t have all the information to have a clear opinion. I prefer not to talk about things that I don’t know about 100%,” he said.

“Here [at Wimbledon], if I am not wrong, Matteo had been sick for a couple of days. That is what one physio of the ATP Tour told me the other day, but I don’t know if the situation changed.

“The information that I had… if you have some symptoms it is up to you if you want to have a test or not. If you want to have a test and the test is positive you are out.

“But now you tell me if you are positive you can keep playing, [that] is something that I didn’t know.”