THE FRENCHWOMAN WON THE FINAL AGAINST ANETT KONTAVEIT RUS AND ZIDANSEK TRIUMPH IN DOUBLES PALERMO, AUGUST 9, 2020 – French Fiona Ferro, world No. 53, is thechampion of the 31st Palermo Ladies Open, the first tennis tournament inthe world after the lockdown. 13 years after Sandrine Testud, anotherFrench triumphs on the courts of the Country Time Club. Ferro has won the final against Anett Kontaveit, Seed No. 4 of the MainDraw, with the score of 6-2, 7-5 in 1 hour and 45 minutes. The CentreCourt was sold out (327 spectators, the maximum quota allowed out of atotal of 1500 seats). It’s Ferro’s second WTA title in her career, oneyear after her victory on Lausanne’s clay. Thanks to this win, Ferrowill be the 44th of the rankings tomorrow, her best result. “It has been a tough match, Anett Kontaveit is a great player – saidFerro. I fought on every point and, in the end, I made it. I hope to winmany more tournaments in my career”. On the other hand, Anett Kontaveit will be back to the Top 20,overtaking Angelique Kerber and Maria Sakkari. “Congratulations to Fiona– said the Estonian. She played a great match. We’ll work with my coachto do better next time”. In addition to the trophy of the 31 Palermo Ladies Open, the winner, Fiona Ferro, was awarded with a Tag Heuer Connected Watch, a watch offered by TAG Heuer, the official timekeeper of the tournament. DOUBLES – Dutch Arantxa Rus and Slovenian Tamara Zidansek won at doublesat the Palermo Ladies Open. 70th and 71st of the world rankings, theymanaged to win against azzurre Elisabetta Cocciaretto and MartinaTrevisan, both of them playing their first WTA final in doubles, withthe score of 7-5, 7-5 in 1h39’. It’s the second career title in doubles for both Arantxa Rus and TamaraZidansek.

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The protagonists of the final of the 31st Palermo Ladies Open will beAnett Kontaveit (22) and Fiona Ferro (53). The singles final isscheduled for tomorrow, not before 7:30 pm. It will be preceded by thedoubles final, at 5:00 pm.Anett Kontaveit, Seed number four of the tournament, won the firstsemi-final against Top Seed Petra Martic (15) with the score of 6-2,6-4. The match was interrupted by two medical time outs, the second ofwhich requested by the Croatian.“I’m really excited to be in the final here for the first time”, saidKontaveit after the match. The first semi-final of the day lasted just 1hour and 29 minutes: “I didn’t expect to win in so little time, but Ireally had to play my best tennis to come on top today”, she analysed.Fiona Ferro, the second finalist, beat Camila Giorgi, coming back from aset down, with the score of 2-6, 6-2, 7-5.The Frenchwoman so commented her victory: “It has been a tough match.She was playing very fast in the first set. In the second set, I triedto be more aggressive and focus more on my game and not in the way shewas playing. I think that paid off”.“Kontaveit is serving very well and is putting a lot of intensity in hermatches”, added Ferro with regards to her next opponent.Tomorrow, the winner will not only receive a trophy, yet also a watch,courtesy of the official timekeeper of the tournament, Tag Heuer, whichwill be given to her by the 31st Palermo Ladies Open TournamentDirector, Oliviero Palma. RESULTS - SATURDAY, AUGUST 08, 2020CENTER COURT[1] P. Martic (CRO) vs [4] A. Kontaveit (EST) 2-6, 6-4F. Ferro (FRA) vs C. Giorgi (ITA) 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 ORDER OF PLAY - SUNDAY, AUGUST 09, 2020CENTER COURT start 5:00 pmDOUBLES FINAL - E. Cocciaretto (ITA) / M. Trevisan (ITA) or [4] B.Schoofs (NED)

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THREE ITALIANS INTO QUARTERS The second round ended today at the Palermo Ladies Open, afterElisabetta Cocciaretto conquered a surprising victory againstsixth-seeded Donna Vekic last night (6-2, 6-4). That left the threeseeds in the competition, two of which – Martic and Kontaveit – havealready played and won their matches, securing the participation in thequarterfinals. “I fought from the first to the last ball and that paid off”, said PetraMartic (15) after winning a three-set match against qualifier LiudmilaSamsonova (117). In the next match, the top seed of the tournament willface Aliaksandra Sasnovic, who said she had no fear of her next opponentafter her last win. “I also am not afraid, I think it’s going to be agreat match”, said the Croatian in response. On the other hand, Anett Kontaveit (22) won the opening match of the dayversus Laura Siegemund (65) 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 after a two-hour,eighteen-minute marathon. “It was a very tough match. I feel like Istarted a little bit passive but then I my game really picked up and Igot more and more aggressive in the second and the third set”, said theEstonian at the end of the match. She will face Cocciaretto in the nextround. The winner of the penultimate match of the day was Local idol CamilaGiorgi (89) who overcame Kaja Juvan (121) with the score of 3-6, 6-2,6-4.She will play against the winner of the last match of the night,which will see Seed no. 7 Dayana Yastremska face Lucky Loser OceaneDodin. That makes it three Italians into the quarterfinals, somethingthat had happened in Hobart in 2015 the last time. In doubles, Rus – Zidansek and Cocciaretto - Trevisan advanced to thesemi-finals as they defeated, respectively, Gatto-Monticone – Paolini(7-5, 6-1) and García Pérez – Sorribes Tormo (6-3, 2-6, 10-5). TheItalian couple will play against Schoofs – Van Der

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ANOTHER SEED LEAVES THE COMPETITION AS FIONA FERRO WINS AGAINST EKATERINA ALEXANDROVA Palermo confirms being the tournament of surprises. This afternoon, French Fiona Ferro (53) has been the first player to secure her place in quarterfinals as she won against 8th seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova (27) by 7-5, 6-2. As a consequence, Petra Martic (Seed no. 1), Anett Kontaveit (Seed no. 4), Donna Vekic (Seed no. 6) and Dayana Yastremska (Seed no. 7) are the only seeds left in the draw. While Vekic will be playing in the night, the remaining three will all have their second-round matches tomorrow. “I didn’t expect to win today – said Ferro after the match – but I was ready for a fight”. It will be her second quarterfinal in a row at the Ladies Open – it was her last match during last edition’s tournament as she lost to Liudmila Samsonova. The Frenchwoman will play it against Sara Errani (169) who overcame Kristina Pliskova (69) after a spectacular come-back (3-6, 6-4, 6-3). Azzurra Jasmine Paolini (95) said goodbye to Palermo after her defeat against Sasnovich (50). It is the best result in Palermo for the Belorussian qualifier, who had lost in Q2 in 2013, her last time in Sicily. “I played very well in the first set because I knew my opponent – she said. I’m ready. I don’t care who I am playing next, my dad told me I will win”. In doubles, Rus – Zidansek defeated Olaru – Yastremska (7-5, 4-6, 10-8) and Minnen – Van Uytvanck won against Siegemund – Wickmayer (2-6, 7-5, 10-6). Tomorrow, the second round will come to a conclusion with four matches on Centre Court. RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2020[8] E. Alexandrova (RUS) vs F. Ferro (FRA) 5-7, 2-6J. Paolini (ITA) vs [Q] A. Sasnovich (BLR)

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PALERMO, AUGUST 1 – Five months after the suspension, Tennis restarted from Palermo’s Country Time Club with the first Qualifying round. Under a burning sun and in front of some spectators, Giulia Gatto Monticone (151 of the rankings) and Martina Trevisan (153) played the Italian derby. The body temperature of the lucky people who “conquered” the 250 tickets available was measured before they could access the Club. They found plenty of hand sanitiser around the club and were requested to wear a mask also on the stands. Tennis was under way on other courts too, but without spectators. The first to certify a win in this new era is Argentine Nadia Podoroska (172), who defeated Hungarian Reka-Luca Jani (201), with a score of 6-3, 6-1, in a hour and sixteen minutes of play. Many spectators were curious about the new protocol: there are three ball boys (over 18 years old) who, just like the linesmen, had to use a mask until the draw was completed. Gatto-Monticone and Trevisan kept their mouth and nose covered until it was time to warm up. COVID-19 prevention measures also impose the use of a mask and social distancing for the only photographer present on site and for cameramen. The latter are testing their setup before the signal is sent to 160 countries in the world on Monday. In Italy, Rai and SuperTennis will be transmitting the images from the first tournament after the suspension. A new era that imposes strict controls also for umpires (who underwent PCR tests), chair umpires and ball boys (serologic tests). While Italian Fed Cup Captain Tathiana Garbin was watching, Trevisan served for the first game. Seats were distanced when players switched courts and a fan helped them to cope with Sicilian heat. Trevisan seemed more convinced and determined as

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It was 1991 when a 16-year-old Frenchwoman conquered the Country Time Club: she was Mary Pierce, and that was her first WTA title. The first great player to have played on the clay of Viale dell’Olimpo, one that would go on to win two slam titles (Australian Open 1995 and Roland Garros 2000). Mary gave us an interview remembering her triumphs in Palermo. - In Palermo you won your first WTA title both in singles and doubles when you were just 16 years old. The next year, you repeated your singles performance, becoming the first player to win two back-to-back edition. What are your memories of Palermo? “I have so many wonderful memories of Palermo. I love Palermo. It’s a beautiful island, beautiful weather. I remember everyone at the club being so nice, it had a relaxed feel to it. I loved playing in the evening - the Italian tennis fans were great supporters and a great crowd to play in front of. They always created such a great atmosphere. I always felt their support when I was playing. Palermo has a very special place for me in my heart for my tennis career. It’s a place and a tournament that I cherish and I will always remember." - You have some sort of connection with Italy. You won your first three trophies here and in the last tournament you won (Moscow) you beat Italian Francesca Schiavone in the final... “Mi piace molto al Italia! I love Italy. I love the country, the people, the food, the fashion, the jewelry. They have such a great and beautiful country. I also had a sparring partner when I was about 17 or 18 years old from Brindisi - Bobo Ciampa. He helped me learn Italian, which I used to speak a little

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Palermo, July 26, 2020 – Simona Halep has decided not to play at Palermo Ladies Open. It has been communicated by the Romanian player’s manager, Virginia Ruzici, who explained that the decision is due to the anti-COVID provisions that impose quarantine to all the people coming from Romania or Bulgaria.“We found out with great bitterness the decision of world number 2 to cancel her participation to the 31st Palermo Ladies Open – said the tournament’s director, Oliviero Palma. Yesterday we were optimistic, and we had informed Halep’s staff about the fact that professional players are not obliged to quarantine. Regional assessor of Health Ruggero Razza, who we thank for his promptness and clarity, had directly sent to Halep an official communication explaining how the Ordinance of the Ministry of Health was not to be applied to workers, therefore neither to professional tennis players. Nevertheless, Halep’s staff only communicated us the final decision, frustrating all our efforts. We are embittered and profoundly disappointed”.
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Palermo July 24, 2020 – “We wrote an urgent letter to the Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, asking for a derogation to the last ordinance for tennis players taking part in the 31st Palermo Ladies Open”. These are the words pronounced by Oliviero Palma, director of the tournament to be played at Palermo’s Country Time Club from the 1st to the 9th of August. The new ordinance adopted by the Minister imposes a quarantine for all the people having been in Romania or Bulgaria in the last 14 days. “The provision would penalise a player like Simona Halep, world’s number 2 and Wimbledon’s reigning champion, who wouldn’t take part in Palermo’s tournament anymore – said Palma. Regardless of the player’s value and the attention her presence fosters over the first tournament after the suspension for the pandemic, we wrote a letter to the Minister because 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”. The WTA protocol mandates players to undergo a PCR test before they leave for Palermo. At their arrival, all players will undergo a new test and won’t be able to leave the hotel until the result isn’t communicated by the regional Laboratory directed by Francesco Vitale, Professor of Hygiene at the University of Palermo. Later, the PCR test will be repeated every four days. “We availed ourselves of Prof. Antonio Cascio’s consultation (Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Palermo) to plan all controls, which will also be undergone by both the players’ and tournament’s staff – explained Palma. I’m convinced that there are all the necessary conditions and guarantees to give a derogation for all tennis players coming from

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Oliviero Palma: “The entry list is simply fantastic: it begins with world’s number 2 and ends with number 69. And it is not over yet, as the 31st of July is still far. We didn’t expect this kind of participation” “I’ll be honest: we didn’t convince Halep to come to Palermo. She convinced herself because she wanted to play and because Palermo, Sicily and Italy are safe places. We’re very happy for that”. “For the first time, we‘ll host an inaugural ceremony. We want to dedicate this restart to all those who sacrificed their life for the common good – health workers. And it is also the restart of world tennis and it we want to celebrate the solemnity of the moment” “We’ll surely give wild cards to Italy’s best players: Camila Giorgi and Jasmine Paolini for the Main Draw, and the rest of the Fed Cup team for Qualifiers. In case one of them were unavailable, the first substitute would be the best Sicilian player”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYK9olW33Ms
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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

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