Simona Halep withdraws from Palermo Open on the back of Italy’s new quarantine rules

Shahida Jacobs
Simona Halep

Simona Halep won’t feature in the Palermo Open as the world No 2 withdrew from the tournament after Italy imposed new coronavirus quarantine regulations for travellers from Romania and Bulgaria.

The two-time Grand Slam winner was due to be the top seed at the WTA International event in Sicily from August 3-9, but Italy on Friday announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for people coming from Romania and Bulgaria.

Palermo Open organisers, though, were hopeful that she would still be allowed to play and announced they had written to Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza to ask for an exception for tennis players taking part in the WTA event.

However, she confirmed through her manager Virginia Ruzici that she won’t take part “due to the anti-COVID provisions that impose quarantine to all the people coming from Romania or Bulgaria”.

Tournament Director Oliviero Palma, though, says they has informed Halep’s team that professional players didn’t have to quarantine for 14 days, but the Romanian still pulled out.

“We found out Halep’s decision with great bitterness. Yesterday we were optimistic, and we had informed Halep’s staff about the fact that professional players are not obliged to quarantine,” the said on Twitter.

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