The restart of the WTA season was slammed on Saturday after a competitor in the Palermo event tested positive for COVID 19.

A WTA statement did not name the player – possibly a qualifier as preliminary rounds got underway – who was automatically withdrawn from the field while appearing asymptomatic.

The sanctioning body added that the tournament would continue as planned, with Tour health guidelines reinforced under guidance from America’s Mayo Clinic.

Under the regulations, any person involved in the event who tests positive will put into an undefined isolation period with treatment while those who came in contact will be tested for the virus.

Italy was the first European nation to be hit heavily by the virus in February, with the situation brought under control in the spring before rising again in the past few weeks.

The tournament had been expecting an entry by No. 2 Simona Halep which would have seriously lifted its profile.

But the Romanian withdrew last month, citing fears of possibly contracting COVID.


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