December 7, 2022

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Wimbledon: Simona Halep was contacted by NHS Track and Trace just days after her withdrawal

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Simona Halep‘s withdrawal through injury before the tournament saved Wimbledon from a tricky situation, as the defending champion was contacted by NHS Track and Trace a few days later.

The world No 3 came into the Championships carrying a calf injury and pulled out last Friday, but she was contacted on Monday about a positive Covid case on her flight to London.

Halep’s coach Darren Cahill, a former world No 22, tweeted: ‘Sitting in self isolation since Monday after NHS Track & Trace made our entire flight on the 21st to the UK close contacts to someone who tested Covid positive days later. 

Simona Halep was contacted by NHS Track and Trace just days after pulling out of Wimbledon

Simona Halep was contacted by NHS Track and Trace just days after pulling out of Wimbledon

Simona Halep was contacted by NHS Track and Trace just days after pulling out of Wimbledon

‘4 negative tests in the last 8 days and fully vaccinated means zippo. Totally bummed.’ 

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Sportsmail has learned that Halep was on the same flight as her coach and was also alerted by Track and Trace, by which time she had already flown back to Romania.

Had Halep still been in the draw at that point, she would have been in the awkward position of having passed into the Wimbledon bubble and tested negative, while at the same time being instructed to isolate by the Government.

A Covid case on Halep's flight saw her contacted, and she would have been told to self-isolate

A Covid case on Halep's flight saw her contacted, and she would have been told to self-isolate

A Covid case on Halep’s flight saw her contacted, and she would have been told to self-isolate

Whether she would have been forced to withdraw from the tournament is unclear, as there is no hard-and-fast rule for such an eventuality. 

A Wimbledon spokeswoman said: ‘In such a situation, an individual risk assessment would be conducted, in conjunction with Public Health England.’ 

Halep’s withdrawal through injury looked a bitter blow to the tournament at the time, but it may have been a blessing in disguise. 

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