Britain’s Johanna Konta has been forced to pull out of the Olympic Games after testing positive for Covid-19, and she joins a growing list of big names who will not be travelling to Tokyo, including Roger Federer, Denis Shapovalov and Bianca Andreescu, who also announced their withdrawals this week.
I have been unable to train for the last two and a half weeks and sadly, this has put my body in a situation where I am unable to ask it to be fully ready in time for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Johanna Konta
Other notable absentees include Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Stanislas Wawrinka, Simona Halep and Serena Williams.
Konta missed Wimbledon because a member of her team had tested positive for the virus and she was deemed a close contact and therefore had to self-isolate for 10 days.
The 30-year-old said she also developed symptoms while self-isolating before testing positive herself.
“As some of you may know, I was unable to compete at Wimbledon this year after a member of my team tested positive for COVID-19,” Konta stated on Twitter. “Unfortunately, whilst self-isolating, I also developed symptoms and subsequently tested positive for the virus.
“As a result, I have been unable to train for the last two and a half weeks and sadly, this has put my body in a situation where I am unable to ask it to be fully ready in time for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“This is a heart-breaking reality for me, as representing Team GB at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 is one of my most treasured memories from my career so far.
“I’ll be doing my best to get myself back to full health and fitness and ready to be competing again soon.
“During this time, I’ll also be glued to my TV cheering on my fellow Team GB athletes competing in Tokyo and I hope you will all join me,” she added.
Her withdrawal from Wimbledon was a big blow, especially after having won the Nottingham title in the build-up to the grass court Grand Slam.
The Australian-born Konta, who hails from Eastbourne, competed in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 where she reached the quarter-finals and lost to Germany’s Angelique Kerber in straight sets.
The three-time Grand Slam semi-finalist announced on Twitter that while self-isolating as a close contact, she developed symptoms and subsequently tested positive.
“As a result, I have been unable to train for the last two and a half weeks and sadly, this has put my body in a situation where I am unable to ask it to be fully ready in time for the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” wrote Konta, who is ranked 38th.
The opening ceremony is in 10 days’ time.
Meanwhile, 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer, who has never won Olympic singles gold, said he had suffered a setback with an existing knee injury during the grass court season.
Federer, knocked out of Wimbledon by Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals, lost the men’s singles final to Britain’s Andy Murray at London 2012.
“I am greatly disappointed, as it has been an honour and highlight of my career each time I have represented Switzerland,” Federer, who had two knee surgeries in 2020, said on Twitter.
“I have already begun rehabilitation in the hopes of returning to the tour later this summer.
“I wish the Swiss team the best of luck and will be rooting hard from afar.”
World No 1 Novak Djokovic, who joined Federer and Nadal on 20 Grand Slam crowns after winning Wimbledon on Sunday, will enter as the favourite for gold, although has said he is ’50-50’ about competing at the Games after fans were banned from venues, including the Ariake Tennis Arena following a fresh state of emergency being declared in Tokyo.
He is thought to also be concerned that he cannot take his full team to Tokyo.