Players did not talk about COVID cases at French Open - Cornet

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Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - May 26, 2022 France's Alize Cornet celebrates after winning her second round match against Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

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LONDON, June 28 (Reuters) - Players at this year's French Open contracted the COVID-19 virus but did not make it public and there was an understanding among them not to self-test despite having symptoms, French player Alize Cornet said at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

Italian eighth seed Matteo Berrettini, the runner-up at last year's Wimbledon, joined 2017 finalist Marin Cilic of Croatia on Tuesday to pull out of this year's Championships after testing positive for COVID-19. read more

Czech players Barbora Krejcikova and Marie Bouzkova withdrew from the French Open after contracting the virus.

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"At some point... we all might have had the flu," former world number 11 Cornet told reporters at Wimbledon, according to French daily L'Equipe.

"At Roland Garros, yes, I think there have been a few cases and it's a tacit agreement between us. We are not going to self-test to get into trouble. Afterwards, I saw girls wearing masks, maybe because they knew and didn't want to pass on."

Wimbledon organisers the All England Club (AELTC) have not put COVID-19 restrictions in place this year and vaccination and testing is not mandatory for players to participate.

Cornet, who defeated 27th seed Yulia Putintseva 6-3 7-6(5) on Tuesday in her record-equalling 62nd consecutive appearance in a Grand Slam main draw, feared the health regulations might change following the Berrettini and Cilic cases.

"We paid the price, we were in a bubble for a year and a half, we all got vaccinated, it's good," the 32-year-old said.

American Coco Gauff, 18, said she was comfortable with the responsibility of testing being on the players at the grasscourt Grand Slam.

"I think for the most part I feel like it's okay that players are doing it themselves," she said. "That's, like, the regulations in the government now, if you feel symptoms, test.

"That's what I would do if I felt any COVID symptoms, I would test. I think it's also good that we don't have to test every day or every other day. I don't want to go back to that. Not being scared to be tested, but it's also, like, a hassle," Gauff added.

"I think with the vaccines and everything, we kind of know that the viral load is low and it's very hard to transfer if you're a vaccinated individual. I would encourage everybody if you're feeling symptoms to test."

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Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Ed Osmond

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