Tennis player tests positive for COVID-19 at Palermo Open

PALERMO, Italy — A tennis player entered for the Palermo Ladies Open tested positive for the coronavirus and has withdrawn from the tournament, organizers announced Saturday.

While noting that the player is asymptomatic, the WTA Tour said in a statement that she will remain in isolation “until cleared by a physician per the established protocols.

“In addition, all those who may have been in close contact with the individual are undergoing testing per WTA protocols,” the women’s tour added. “The 31st Palermo Ladies Open will continue as planned.”

Local organizers, who would not name the player, said she was admitted to a national health facility designated for asymptomatic patients with COVID-19.

“The efficiency of the protocols and the related tests allowed us to intercept a positive case,” said Dr. Antonio Cascio, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Palermo who is the tournament’s anti-virus co-ordinator. “The player never left her hotel room while awaiting the results of the exams.”

All of the players for the tournament are staying in the same hotel.

The WTA tournament marks the return of tour-level tennis following a five-month break for the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s the first official event — for men or women — since early March.

Qualifying began Saturday with main draw action due to begin Monday.

After former French Open champions Simona Halep and Jelena Ostapenko withdrew, the main draw is headlined by last year’s Roland Garros finalist Marketa Vondrousova, No. 15 Petra Martic and No. 20 Maria Sakkari.

Tournament organizers had announced on Friday that more than 400 coronavirus tests were carried out on players and staff members and all of them came back negative.

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Man United right to pursue Jadon Sancho but the role that deserves top priority is being overlooked

Jadon Sancho is predictably the most prominent subject of the current transfer window.

Manchester United’s interest in Borussia Dortmund’s rising star is well known and with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side securing the prestige and riches that come with Champions League football next season, a strong offer is inevitable.

It’s likely to be a transfer saga that drawls on for the length of the summer with the Bundesliga outfit determined to stick to their €120m valuation despite the economic climate owing to the impact of COVID-19.

Sancho is widely regarded to be top priority for United in this window but given how the team has operated at the business end of the season and what they owe their success to, perhaps there’s another position that deserves their attention.

And it isn’t one that other widely speculated targets like Jack Grealish or Gabriel Magalhaes can fill either. In fact, there’s no obvious candidate that immediately stands out because of the specific skillset it requires.

Nemanja Matic is currently doing the job in that crucial holding midfield role that’s proved so influential to the way United have operated of late. He’s been paramount to the team, evidenced by the fact that he’s failed to start only two games since the restart; the first match back against Tottenham and the FA Cup quarter-finals at Norwich which saw Solskjaer field a much weakened side.

Following the 1-1 draw at Spurs, much was made of how Paul Pogba’s introduction impacted the result to salvage a point for United but Matic was pivotal to their ability to turn the screw in the closing stages as

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Taurasi has 20 points, 10 assists as Mercury beat Aces

BRADENTON, Fla. — Diana Taurasi had 22 points and 10 assists, Skylar Diggins-Smith also scored 22 points, and the Phoenix Mercury never trailed in a 102-95 win over the Las Vegas Aces on Friday night.

Brittney Griner had 18 points, seven rebounds and three steals, Bria Hartley scored 15 points and Sophie Cunningham 11 for Phoenix (1-2).

Angel McCoughtry scored 18 points and A’ja Wilson had 17 points, eight rebounds and three steals for Las Vegas (1-2).

Phoenix led by 23 points midway through the second quarter, but the Aces closed the half with a 14-2 run to make it 50-41 and then held the Mercury scoreless for four-plus minutes during a 9-0 spurt that made it 56-all when McCoughtry hit a jumper with 5:33 left in the third quarter.

Brianna Turner answered with a layup and Cunningham had a steal and a layup to spark a 14-2 run that gave Phoenix the lead for good and made it 70-58 when Taurasi hit a 3-pointer about four minutes later.

Taurasi and Diggins-Smith each hit four of the Mercury’s 11 3-pointers. Phoenix had 30 assists on 38 field goals, shot 57% overall and 55% from behind the arc.

Las Vegas guard Lindsay Allen was ruled out of the game after she had an inconclusive positive test for COVID-19. According to the Aces, the safety procedures outlined by the WNBA and the players’ union require an inconclusive positive to be treated as a positive until the person has two negative tests in a row 24 hours apart. She is currently isolating away from the bubble at IMG Academy.

00:21ET 01-08-20

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