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Musetti continues his Roman run

At four-all in the second set the lights went out during the Italian Open which could have disrupted the concentration of Italy’s emerging starlet, the 18-year-old Lorenzo Musetti, who was on his way to eliminating another top player from the Rome Masters listings.

ATP and WTA Kremlin Cup tournaments cancelled

The ATP and WTA jointly announced on Friday that the 2020 Kremlin Cup tournaments in Moscow have been cancelled by a mandate from health officials in the Russian capital, where there has been a surge in coronavirus infections.

Osaka withdraws from Paris, fans reduced

Japan’s Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open with a hamstring injury, while the FFT is reducing the number of fans that will be allowed to attend Roland Garros due to the worsening coronavirus situation in the country.

On the day of the Bagel 

Bagels are pretty rare in pro tennis but in Rome on Thursday, Johanna Konta and Victoria Azarenka scored three between them - Konta taking one against clay-court specialist Irina-Camelia Begu, 6-0 6-4, while just five days after losing the US Open final, Azarenka...

Battling mental health issues to return to the court

In a short film released this week, the LTA follows 38-year-old tennis player Steven McCann from North London, as he shares his inspirational story of battling addiction to reignite his love and passion for the sport. The feature brings to life Steven’s journey to...

Fans to return in Paris

No one at the beginning of this Covid year could have predicted that we here at Tennis Threads would be writing the French Open in September, just a couple of weeks after the US Open had concluded!

Fed Cup rebrands as the Billie Jean King Cup

Tying in with the 50th Anniversary of the Fed Cup, the women’s team competition has been re-named the Billie Jean King Cup by the ITF, it was announced at a virtual press conference on Thursday.

Halep and Plíšková start Rome campaigns

Top seed Simona Halep overcame an early scare as she was broken 5 times by local wildcard Jasime Paolini in her opening match of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, but moved into the second round smoothly enough, 6-3 6-4, on Wednesday, while No 2 seed Karolina Plíšková...

Rafa and Novak back in action

The two players who have won the most Masters1000 titles between them were in action at the Rome stop for the first time having received byes in their opening matches.

Kerber falls as Muguruza kicks on in Rome

Falling victim to the quick transition from the slick fast hard courts of the US Open to the continental clay of Rome, No 15 seed Angelique Kerber was upset by Katerina Siniakova on Tuesday in straight sets, while Garbiñe Muguruza claimed the battle of Grand Slam...
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Halep could be prevented from playing Palermo

Following the disastrous news that the Chinese events have been cancelled for this year – a decision which affects the WTA greatly as, amongst the seven events affected, it includes the prestigious end of season WTA Championships – the organisation has just learnt that their Palermo Ladies Open will now be affected by a coronavirus quarantine.

"The provision would penalise a player like (Romanian) Simona Halep, world's number two and Wimbledon's reigning champion, who wouldn't take part in Palermo's tournament anymore Tournament director Oliviero Palma

Yesterday’s decision by the Italian government that people who have been in Romania and Bulgaria in the past 14 days prior to their arrival in Italy will be quarantined for a further 14 days on arrival, has been reached to prevent the importation of COVID-19 from countries which have seen a rise within their own borders.

This decision affects Palermo as their main attraction is the Romanian world No.2 Simona Halep as the event in the Sicilian capital marks – on August 3 – the restart of professional tennis since last March when the men’s and women’s tours was forced into suspension by the pandemic.

Tournament director Oliviero Palma said organisers have written an urgent letter beseeching the Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza, for an exemption for tennis players taking part in the event.

“The provision would penalise a player like (Romanian) Simona Halep, world’s number two and Wimbledon’s reigning champion, who wouldn’t take part in Palermo’s tournament anymore,” Palma stated.

Palermo will have strict health precautions and all players will undergo coronavirus tests before they come, on arrival and every subsequent four days.

“We’re convinced that the health protocols adopted by the WTA are so strict to guarantee the safety and health not only of athletes, yet also of all the various workers involved in the event,” Palma continued.

“I’m convinced that there are all the necessary conditions and guarantees to give a derogation for all tennis players coming from Romania or Bulgaria, in order to avoid their quarantine and, hence, their retirement from the tournament.”


Sofia Kenin of USA, the current Australian Open champion, may have to quarantine if she successfully defends it next year.

Andy Cheung/Getty Images

Meanwhile looking further ahead, the organisers at next year’s Australian Open, have revealed their own bio-security plans which also involves fewer spectators and the likelihood of none from overseas.

Craig Tiley, chief executive of Tennis Australia Tiley says the tournament in January 2021 will have reduced seating in accordance with social distancing conventions andplayers will be in a secure bio-security “bubble”.

However he will be keeping a watchful eye during the US Open and French Open events and assess what can be learnt from them to improve their own operation.

If current planning continues, there’ll be only half that many spectators in Melbourne Park’s main show court in 2021, and any overseas players who win the title will have spent some time in quarantine on their arrival in Australia, been tested for COVID-19, stay at one of the official bio-secure tournament hotels and travel to the tournament site in sealed transport.





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