Halep withdraws from Palermo, organizers ‘profoundly disappointed’

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WORLD number two Simona Halep has withdrawn from next month’s Palermo Ladies Open following Italy’s decision to impose a mandatory quarantine for people coming from Romania and Bulgaria amid the coronavirus pandemic, organizers said on Sunday.

Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Friday people who have been in Romania and Bulgaria in the past 14 days will be quarantined upon arrival in Italy, a move aimed at preventing the importation of COVID-19 cases.

“We found out with great bitterness the decision of the world number two to cancel her participation,” the tournament’s director Oliviero Palma said in a statement.

Palermo will be the first professional tennis event across the WTA and men’s ATP Tours after a five-month break, with action scheduled to get underway on the clay courts of the Sicilian capital from Aug. 3.

“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. — Reuters