On the other end former US Open champion Samantha Stosur has decided to sit out the rest of 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic after becoming a mother last month but the 36-year-old Australian has vowed to return to court next year. Stosur recently announced this month that her partner Liz Astling gave birth to daughter Evie in June.
WTA Tour re-starts with Palermo Ladies Open LIVE
The women’s WTA Tour is scheduled to restart with the Palermo Ladies Open on Aug. 3 after the COVID-19 outbreak forced the suspension of professional events in early March. The U.S. Open and French Open Grand Slams are still on the 2020 calendar.
“With the schedule coming up, with COVID, with quarantine and with all the other things that you’re going to have to deal with, I’ve decided that I’m going to take the rest of the year off,” Stosur told Tennis Australia. Stosur reached a career-high ranking of fourth in 2011 and defeated Serena Williams in New York for her maiden Grand Slam singles title the same year.
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. But Halep decided to withdraw.
“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.
“I want to thank the tournament director and the Italian ministry of health for all their efforts on my behalf and I wish the tournament a successful week.”
Halep, the reigning Wimbledon champion and 2018 French Open winner, has also committed to the Prague Open, scheduled to start on Aug. 10.
Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by the novel coronavirus but the amount of daily new infections being reported is a fraction of the numbers in late March. The country has recorded over 35,000 deaths from the virus.
Palma said the organisers had written an urgent letter to Italy’s health minister, asking for exemption for tennis players taking part in the event.
“Yesterday we were optimistic, and we had informed Halep’s staff about the fact that professional players are not obliged to quarantine,” Palma said. “We are embittered and profoundly disappointed.”