Halep pulls out of Palermo Ladies Open, organisers disappointed

Updated July 26, 2020

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Rome, July 26 (IANS) World No. 2 Simona Halep has pulled out from next month's Palermo Ladies Open after Italy's decision to impose a mandatory quarantine for people coming from Romania and Bulgaria amid the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers said on Sunday.

"Simona Halep has decided not to play at Palermo Ladies Open. It has been communicated by the Romanian player's manager, Virginia Ruzici, who explained that the decision is due to the anti-COVID provisions that impose quarantine to all the people coming from Romania or Bulgaria," a statement on the official website, palermoladiesopen.com, said.

"We found out with great bitterness the decision of world number 2 to cancel her participation to the 31st Palermo Ladies Open - said the tournament's director, Oliviero Palma.

"Yesterday we were optimistic, and we had informed Halep's staff about the fact that professional players are not obliged to quarantine. Regional assessor of Health Ruggero Razza, who we thank for his promptness and clarity, had directly sent to Halep an official communication explaining how the Ordinance of the Ministry of Health was not to be applied to workers, therefore neither to professional tennis players.

"Nevertheless, Halep's staff only communicated us the final decision, frustrating all our efforts. We are embittered and profoundly disappointed," Palma added.

"Given the recent rise in Covid-19 cases in Romania and my anxieties around international air travel at this time, I have made the tough decision to withdraw from Palermo," Halep said on Twitter.

Palermo, starting August 3, will be the first professional tennis event across the WTA and men's ATP Tours after a five-month break due to the health crisis.

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