World No. 2 Simona Halep said Sunday she will not play when the WTA returns from a five-month layoff next month in Palermo, Italy.
“Given the recent rise in Covid19 cases in Romania and my anxieties around international air travel at this time, I have made the tough decision to withdraw from Palermo,” she posted on Twitter. “I want to thank the tournament director and the Italian ministry of health for all efforts on my behalf.”
The clay-court tournament in Sicily starts on Aug. 3.
Halep’s decision was not received well by tournament director Oliviero Palma.
“We were filled with regret when informed of the news,” Palma said. “We had informed Halep’s staff in detail about the fact that professional players shouldn’t have to go into quarantine.
“But nevertheless Halep’s staff informed us when their decision was already taken. We are disheartened and deeply upset.”
Halep, who won Wimbledon in 2019 and the French Open in 2018, is scheduled to compete in the Prague Open from Aug. 10-16 in the Czech Republic.
–Field Level Media