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Alizé Cornet tied an Open Era record with her 62nd consecutive Grand Slam appearance at Wimbledon, but that’s not what left everyone talking on Tuesday. After causing a bit of draw chaos with a 6-3, 7-6(5) upset over No. 27 seed Yulia Putintseva, the Frenchwoman dropped another bombshell in the press room.

Cornet sat down with French sports magazine L’Equipe after the match, and discussed the number of high-profile COVID-19-related retirements hitting The Championships—including last year’s finalist Matteo Berrettini, who had pulled out of the event earlier in the day.

With Wimbledon announcing a review of their COVID-19 protocols, Cornet revealed that there was a completely different atmosphere at Roland Garros—allegedly “the whole locker room” experienced multiple symptoms of the virus and continued to compete:

It was a tacit agreement between us... Alizé Cornet


“At Roland Garros, there was a COVID-19 epidemic, no one talked about it,” she told L’Equipe. “In the locker room, everyone got it and we said nothing...”

“When we see 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, it's fine.

“At Roland Garros, yes, I think there have been a few cases and it was 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 [they might have it] and didn't want to pass on. You also have to have a civic spirit.”

The revelation comes after Berrettini withdrew due to a positive COVID test, one day after Marin Cilic also tested positive and withdrew. The incidents had sparked fear of a possible outbreak at Wimbledon, and the potential for more strict health protocols.

The allegation of a full-blown COVID-19 “epidemic” in the Roland Garros locker room is probably (hopefully?) an over-exaggeration—there are plenty of other illnesses that cause similar symptoms, and if all the players indeed quietly agreed to stop self-testing then it’s hard to know what they each came down with. It’s also worth noting that multiple players in Paris did withdraw due to COVID-19, including Krejcikova and Marie Bouzkova. So there wasn’t a total pact of silence from players—though Cornet noted that it was precipitated by the defending champion's withdrawal.

But Cornet’s comments nonetheless have sent shockwaves around an All-England Club that’s already reeling after two confirmed cases.