The resumption of the tennis season will definitely have numerous setbacks. After Simona Halep and Johanna Konta disappointed tennis fans with withdrawals from the 31st Palermo Ladies Open, the WTA goes ahead with the news that one unnamed player has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and has subsequently pulled out of the tournament.
Even though ESPN earlier reported that more than 400 tests carried out on athletes and stuff members ahead of the claycourt event all came back negative, today’s statement by the WTA suggests otherwise. The identity of the player is not being revealed, but we know that she is asymptomatic, in isolation until cleared by a physician per the established protocols, and all people who may have been in close contact with her are undergoing testing.
The first professional tennis tournament since March will go on as planned and main-draw action starts on Monday.
Our photographer Jimmie48 has arrived in Palermo and we already have some practice photos of tournament headliners Maria Sakkari, Petra Martic and Marketa Vondrousova (I will share them on Instagram shortly).