Halep withdraws from Palermo over COVID-19 concerns

Halep withdraws from Palermo over COVID-19 concerns

That would make things impossible for Halep to play in Palermo.

Halep "has chose to pull out", the Palermo Ladies Open wrote on Twitter.

The world's No. 2 tennis player Simona Halep (pix) has pulled out of a tournament in Italy due to Covid-19 quarantine rules for Romanians, even if they did not apply to her.

Halep confirmed two weeks ago that she would be playing at the Ladies Open Palermo in a video message released across the tournament's social media, in which she said: "I'm very happy to announce I will be back in Palermo after ten years".

Roberto Speranza, Italy's Health Minister, said on Friday that people arriving in Italy from Bulgaria and Romania after visiting the countries in the past 14 days will be quarantined as a precaution against imported COVID-19 cases.

On 25th July, tournament director Oliviero Palma clarified that the event had sought exemptions from the Italian health minister for players participating in the event.

"Nevertheless, Halep s staff only communicated us the final decision, frustrating all our efforts".

"Yesterday we were optimistic, and we had informed Halep's staff about the fact that professional players are not obliged to quarantine", Palma said.

Palermo will mark the first professional tennis event across the WTA and men's ATP Tours since early March with action scheduled to get underway on the clay courts of the Sicilian capital from August 3. "We are embittered and profoundly disappointed", Palma added.

Four other top-20 players remain entered: No. 14 Johanna Konta of Britain, No. 15 Petra Martic of Croatia, No. 18 Markéta Vondroušová of the Czech Republic and No. 20 Maria Sakkari of Greece.

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