French tennis star Alize Cornet has confessed that a number of players at Roland-Garros had Covid-19 but kept it quiet.
Cornet beat 27th seed Yulia Putintseva in straight sets to reach the second round at Wimbledon and then proceeded to drop the bombshell afterwards.
So far, several players have tested positive at the All England Club this year and withdrawn from the competition. These include the likes of Matteo Berrettini, who reached the final of the men’s singles last year.
However, Cornet says the atmosphere at the French Open was completely different, and that “the whole locker room” mutually agreed to keep quiet about any positive cases.
Cornet’s shocking revelation
Speaking to French sports magazine L’Equipe, Cornet said: “At Roland Garros, there was a Covid-19 epidemic, no one talked about it. In the locker room, everyone got it and we said nothing…
“When we saw that [Barbora] Krejcikova withdrew, saying she had Covid, and that the whole locker room is sick. At some point… we all might have had the flu. The thing is, we had the three symptoms, [like an] itchy throat, we played and everything was fine.
“At Roland Garros, yes, I think there [were] a few cases and it was a tacit agreement between us [that we were] not going to self-test to get into trouble! Afterwards, I saw girls wearing masks, maybe because they knew [they might have it] and didn’t want to pass on.”
Wimbledon reviewing Covid protocols
Following Berrettini’s withdrawal, Wimbledon are reviewing their Covid-19 protocols.
The Italian star was one of the leading contenders for this year’s title and had been on a nine-match winning streak in the build-up to the tournament.
Another former finalist, Marin Cilic, also pulled out with Covid earlier this week, raising concerns that others might be infected.
Cilic trained with reigning champion Novak Djokovic in the days prior to the start of the competition, while Berrettini was seen practising with Rafael Nadal.
The 2021 edition of Wimbledon was played with strict Covid-19 protocols in place, but there are no such rules this year, other than following UK government guidance.
Now though, after the recent outbreak, the All England Club is now considering changing its stance.
“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 continues to wear face masks for any consultation.”