Wimbledon chiefs say Covid pull-outs 'not unexpected'

Wimbledon chiefs say Covid-19 pull-outs 'not unexpected'

The withdrawals came despite all players and staff being confined to a hotel bubble

A view of the Wimbledon Centre Court. Credit: USA Today sports

Wimbledon chiefs said Monday that it was "not unexpected" that two players had been forced to withdraw from the tournament after being identified as close contacts of positive coronavirus cases.

Britain's world number 31 Johanna Konta, a semi-finalist in 2017, and 2012 men's doubles champion Frederik Nielsen of Denmark have both been required to self-isolate.

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The withdrawals came despite all players and staff being confined to a hotel bubble, 12 months after the 2020 tournament was cancelled due to the pandemic.

"This is not unexpected," said All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton.

"It's terribly sad for the players but it's something we plan for. We have protocols in place."

This year's Wimbledon is operating at 50% capacity of spectators with a maximum crowd of 15,000 planned for the finals weekend.

Bolton said that even if the Centre Court roof is closed for the finals on July 10 and 11, the maximum number of fans will still be allowed.

"We invested in an outstanding level and quality of ventilation when we put the roofs on Centre Court and Court One," Bolton added.

"Even with the roof closed, it will still be considered an outdoor tournament."

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