Roberto Bautista Agut has become the third men's withdrawal at Wimbledon after testing positive for Covid-19. The Spaniard had been due to play Colombia's Daniel Galan, who now gets a walkover for the third round.
His positive test comes after Matteo Berrettini and Marin Cilic had been forced to pull out of their first-round ties amid the current uptick in cases across London and the UK.
The 17th seed wrote on Instagram: "Sadly today I have notified the organization [sic] of #Wimbledon of my withdrawal from the competition. Yesterday I started not feeling very well and I tested positive for Covid-19. Symptoms are not very serious, but I think this is the best decision. Thank you all for your support always. I hope to be back on court soon."
Fears of widespread infection in the locker rooms at SW19 had been stoked by the women’s French No 1, Alizé Cornet, saying the virus was widespread previously at Roland Garros.
Players are currently being asked to test only if they develop Covid symptoms in line with UK Government guidelines. However, Wimbledon says it is monitoring the situation in the wake of the withdrawal of top names in the men’s draw.
"As a major event we have and continue to work in conjunction with the UK Public Health Security Agency and our local authority," a spokesperson for the All England Club said on Tuesday.
"We have maintained enhanced cleaning and hand sanitising operations, and offer full medical support for anyone feeling unwell. We are following UK guidance around assessment and isolation of any potential infectious disease. Our player medical team also continue to wear face masks for any consultation."
The vast majority of players are vaccinated at Wimbledon. One of the few to snub the jab is Novak Djokovic, who earlier this week attacked the US Open over its policy of allowing all Americans to play even though he is not allowed to travel.
Djokovic said he had been texting Tennys Sandgren since the American said he found it "shameful" that the USTA was helping the Serb get the green light to compete.
Answering questions from Serbian journalists, he added: "I have been texting with Tennys Sandgren a few days ago. I wanted to thank him for the public support he has given me in this situation. What he said makes total sense – if unvaccinated players are not allowed to compete at the US Open, then it should be the case for everyone. I don’t see the medical logic behind it, that Tennys can play because he is a citizen of the USA, and I cannot."
Djokovic was deported from Melbourne in January over his single-minded but controversial stance, forcing him to abandon an assault on a 10th Australian Open title.