Johanna Konta Forced to Withdraw From Wimbledon Due To COVID Close Contact

Day 6 Johanna Konta Wimbledon

British #1 and former Wimbledon semifinalist Johanna Konta has had to withdraw from Wimbledon due to COVID rules. A member of her team has produced a positive PCR test result for COVID, the #27 seed is a close contact.

What does this mean?

Under Britain’s COVID rules, close contacts must isolate themselves for ten days. With Wimbledon starting Monday and Konta scheduled to start on Tuesday, there was no room for maneuver within the rules. Wang Yafan is the lucky loser who takes Konta’s place in the draw. The Chinese will play Katerina Siniakova in the opening round.

Johanna Konta Forced to Withdraw From Wimbledon Due To COVID Close Contact

Unfortunate timing for Konta

It is unfortunate that Konta has suffered this setback. She had prepared for Wimbledon really well by winning her first WTA title in four years at the Viking International in Nottingham. Her run to the semifinal at SW19 also came in that fantastic 2017 season and Konta would’ve felt confident in her form and ability to repeat that achievement.

However, the rules are in place for the protection of the many. There is no doubt that it is the correct decision to follow this course of action at this time. It is a strange world in the COVID threatened society in which we live but public safety must come before elite sport and any single individual. Let us hope that the individual who has tested positive and all those connected to the person concerned does not get seriously ill.

Play commences Monday, and it will be interesting to see if there will be any more COVID interruptions in the tournament. It has affected other sports within tournament play recently. Jon Rahm being informed of a positive test whilst leading after Round 3 of The Memorial in the USPGA Tour is a high-profile case in point. In Rahm’s case, it was his own test that was positive. Konta’s came after one of his team tested positive, and Rahm entered a contract tracing protocol. Wimbledon (and the U.K. in general) appears to be taking a more severe line in its own protocols in not allowing Konta to compete at all, regardless of how Konta herself tests.

British hopes in the draw taking a blow

The home crowd has been probably denied their best chance of a finalist to cheer with this news. There are still a number of intriguing competitors for the home nation in the women’s draw but none that look likely to make the second week. There are two men’s seeds, Dan Evans and in-form Cameron Norrie, and, of course, the return of two-time champion Andy Murray to the hallowed courts.

Main Photo from Getty.