Palermo, July 14 2020 – Eleven players amongst the best 27 in the world and a cut-off at world’s number 69. The entry list for the 31st Palermo Ladies Open, to be held from the 1st to the 9th of August, matches the expectations for the first tournament after the Coronavirus suspension.

After the official announcement of the presence of world’s number 2, Simona Halep, the closing of sign-ins gives us a very high-level draw. The Romanian tennis player, Roland Garros winner in 2018 and Wimbledon titleholder, number 1 for 64 weeks (from October 9 2017 to January 28 2019), will participate thanks to a Wild Card conceded by the organization.

In turn, the Entry List is leaded by British Johanna Konta, 29 years old, ranked 14th (with a best ranking of 4), semifinalist at the Australian Open (2016), Wimbledon (2017) and Roland Garros (2019), followed by Coratian Petra Martic, no. 15 and winner of two WTA titles, and by Czech Marketa Vondrousova, no. 18 and 2019 Roland Garros finalist.

“It is an insane draw – commented Palermo Ladies Open’s Director Oliviero Palma. Considering Simona Halep’s participation and the Entry List, we can say that we’ll see a Premier at the Country Club, although it isn’t officially, yet that is the level we’ll have. Three Roland Garros champions will play in Palermo (Kuznetsova, Ostapenko and Halep, ndr), one finalist (Vondrousova) and three Slam semi-finalist (Konta, Mertens and Sevastova). The draw will present 11 between the 27 best players in the world, but it is not over because, after Halep, we aim at bringing another Top 10. As we already announced in the past days, another Wild Card will be granted to Camila Giorgi”.

Going through the Entry List, after Konta, Martic and Vondrousova, there’s Greek Maria Sakkari (no. 20), who will be back playing at the Country Club 8 years after last time, when, as an emerging player, was ruled out of the competition at the second round of the qualifiers. The potential Seeds picture is completed by Estonian Anett Kontavet (no. 22 and recent quarterfinalist at the Australian Open), Belgian Elise Mertens (no. 23 and 2018 US Open semifinalist) and Croatian Donna Vekic (no. 24).

“The absolute value of the tournament – explains Palma – is shown by the fact that, at the moment, players such as Dayana Yastremska (no. 24), Karolina Muchova (no. 26) and Ekaterina Alexandrova (no. 27) wouldn’t be Seeds right now. As well as, former world’s number 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova, US Open 2004 and Roland Garros 2009 winner, and Roland Garros 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko, former world’s number 5”.

There won’t be Swiss titleholder Jill Teichman (no. 63), who last year won the final against Kiki Bertens. In turn, former Top 10 Daria Kasatkina and Kristina Mladenovic will be present, as well as Slovenian Polonia Hercog, 2011 semifinalist in Palermo who only lost to Anabel Medina Garrigues in a three-set match.

Closes the Entry List for the 31st Palermo Ladies Open Czech Krystina Pliskova, ranked 69th in the world.

Qualifiers will show a very high level too, presenting 10 between the best 100 players in the world and a cut-off at number 137.

It is to be reminded that the 31st Palermo Ladies Open, equipped with a 222,500 $ prize money, will begin on the 1st of August with the qualifiers (32-player draw with 4 Wild Cards), wild main draw matches will begin on Monday August 3, culminating with the final on Sunday August 9. While the singles main draw will count 32 players (4 qualified and 4 Wild Cards), the doubles tournament will be played by 16 couples (2 WC). (nr)

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