A player set to participate in the Palermo Ladies Open, which starts on Monday, has tested positive for Covid-19 but the event marking the return of the professional tennis season will continue as planned, the WTA said on Saturday.
The WTA did not name the player but said she had pulled out and all those who may have been in close contact with her were being tested. Qualifying for the tournament went ahead as planned on Saturday afternoon.
“A player has tested positive for Covid-19 at the 31st Palermo Ladies Open and has subsequently withdrawn from the tournament.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,” the WTA said in a statement. “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. Any individual who tests positive will remain in isolation until cleared by a physician and will receive proper medical treatment.”
Organisers had said two players tested positive for Covid-19 antibodies but returned negative results when they underwent a polymerase chain reaction test.
Several exhibition events have taken place globally since the sport was halted in early March due to the pandemic but the women’s tournament in Sicily will be the first across both the elite WTA and ATP tours in five months.