Victorious Vekic happy she didn’t ‘forget how to play’ as tennis returns in Palermo
- 03 Aug 2020
Vekic made up for lost time on Monday following a coronavirus-enforced hiatus, thrashing Arantxa Rus 6-1 6-2 two days after qualifying in Sicily marked the official return of professional tennis.
There was only a small number of people to witness the action, players handling their own towels, no handshakes as well as a smaller team of ball kids and line officials, but Vekic clearly had no problem adapting.
The sixth seed from Croatia said in a post-match video call: “I’m definitely a little bit surprised [at the margin of her victory].
“It was very tricky conditions, it was very windy so the ball was a little bit all over the court. I’m just definitely happy that I didn’t forget how to play tennis, how to play matches, how to win. It’s a huge relief.”
— wta (@WTA) August 3, 2020
Sara Errani, Laura Siegemund, Ekaterina Alexandrova, Jasmine Paolini, Dayana Yastremska and Elisabetta Cocciaretto also made it through to the second round.
Third-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece was not so lucky, she was toppled by Kristyna Pliskova 6-4 6-4 on the night’s final match, which ended well after 1 AM.
Nevertheless it has a relief for organisers to see the action get under way just a couple of days after an unnamed player tested positive for COVID-19.
Wimbledon champion Simona Halep was among a host of players to withdraw from the first tournament since March due to concerns over coronavirus.
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