Johanna Konta, Britain’s No1 women’s player, has been forced to withdraw from Wimbledon on the eve of the tournament after being deemed a close contact of a member of her team who tested positive for Covid-19.
On Sunday morning, a member of Konta’s team developed symptoms of the illness and returned a positive test later in the day. Konta, who had tested negative in her previous tests, will now have to isolate for 10 days. Under grand slam rules, she will receive 50% of the £48,000 first round prize money.
Tennis players at Wimbledon are currently under strict protocols in order to compete there. They are only allowed to be accompanied by three people while staying at an official tournament hotel and they can only travel from the hotel to the All England Lawn Tennis Club. Konta had chosen to enter into the tournament’s protocols with her hitting partner, Dan Smethurst, her fiance, Jackson Wade, and Gill Myburgh, her fitness coach.
Konta had been drawn to face world No 64 Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic on Tuesday. Her withdrawal is a major blow as she represented Great Britain’s likeliest chance at a deep run in the women’s draw.
In recent months, Konta has struggled badly with a chronic knee injury and a difficult run of form that included first round losses at her last three grand slams. However, she entered Wimbledon after a positive turn of form during the grass court season.
Earlier in the month, she won her fourth career WTA title in Nottingham, which was her first grass court title. The 30 year-old then withdrew from warm up tournaments in Birmingham and Eastbourne in order to rest her knee and be at full strength at Wimbledon.
Konta, a semi-finalist at Wimbledon in 2017 and former world No 4, was defending a large number of points from a quarter-final result at Wimbledon in 2019. She is next scheduled to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“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 protocol,” said the AELTC in a statement.
“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 In line with government legislation, she is required to self-isolate for 10 days and therefore is withdrawn from The Championships.”