The first edition of the Ladies Open in Palermo took place in 1988. This WTA event was part of the Tier IV catagory, played on clay. The first winner was Karin Kschwendt ,an Austrian player who during her career played for three different nations: Austria, Germany and Luxembourg . Kschwendt beat , over three sets , the Italian Marzia Grossi, 4-6 6-0 6-1 and her best ranking was reached a few years later at number 37.
The tournament ,after two successive wins by Mary Pierce in 1991-1992,was relegated to Tier V in 2001, however in 2005 was rienstated to Tier IV.
In recent years the event was dominated by the Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues who won in 2001 and from 2004 to 2006. In the 2004 edition she was defeated by the 22 year old Flavia Pennetta, the Italian from Brindisi ,who went on to win in 2009 ,the year in which the event was acknowleged as a WTA International, replacing the old Tier system.
Before Flavia Pennetta , Sara Errani was the first Italian to win the title after 20 years of the event. The Roman player defeated the Ucranian, Marija Korytceva, in two sets, making it her first career title .
After Errani and Pennetta ,the following year ; the Spaniard ,Medina Garrigues triumphed once again in 2011, followed by two consecutive Italian wins ,first Sara Errani in 2012 and secondly Roberta Vinci in 2013.
At the end of September 2013 an assembly of the Country Club of Palermo’s associates did not accept the Italian Tennis Federation’s offer to take over the tournament, instead accepting an offer from Malaysia . Therefore for the next three years ,from 2014, the tournament was played in Kuala Lumpar in Malaysia.
In July 2017 the Country Time Club withdrew the contract with Malaysia and the WTA deliberated the return of the event to Palermo. In 2018 the tournament was not played due to the lack of available dates.