In a major shock to the re-start plans of the WTA Tour, a player has tested positive for coronavirus prior to the start of Palermo Ladies Open. The WTA announced the development in a statement on Saturday.
The Palermo Open signals the restart of the Tour, following the long break due to coronavirus. The women’s tennis body has crucially said that the event will go on as planned.
COVID-19 infected player remains asymptomatic, says WTA
The said player remains asymptomatic after and has withdrawn from the tournament. The tennis authorities had recently issued guidelines for the restart. This included appointing a Tournament Infection Control Officer and an Infectious Disease Specialist.
The WTA also said that a COVID-19 response plan has been put into action.
Additionally, all those who have come in contact with the infected player will also be tested. The statement read, “A player has tested positive for COVID-19 at the 31st Palermo Ladies Open and has subsequently withdrawn from the tournament. The player is asymptomatic.
“Following this information, the WTA, in coordination with the Tournament Infection Control Officer and along with its medical advisors and infectious disease specialist from the Mayo Clinic, immediately put its COVID-19 response plan into action,” it added.
“Any individual who tests positive will remain in isolation until cleared by a physician per the established protocols and will receive proper medical treatment. In addition, all those who may have been in close contact with the individual are undergoing testing per WTA protocols,” the statement further said.
Palermo Open a ‘comeback event’ for the WTA Tour
Top players such as world number 15 Petra Martic, French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova, Anett Kontaveit, and Donna Vekic are set to headline the event. Russia’s Varvara Gracheva and Spain’s Aliona Bolsova are the top two seeds in the qualifying draw.
The WTA will hope that the COVID-19 infection is only limited to the said player, and does not escalate further. Players, including world number one Ashleigh Barty, have withdrawn from the US Open to be held later this month.
Source – WTA