Halep withdraws from Palermo Open after quarantine order

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PALERMO, Sicily — Second-ranked Simona Halep withdrew from the Palermo Ladies Open Sunday following a quarantine ordinance issued by Italy’s health ministry.

“Given the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Romania and my anxieties around international air travel at this time, I have made the tough decision to withdraw from Palermo,” Halep tweeted. “I want to thank the tournament director and the Italian ministry of health for all efforts on my behalf.”

The Aug. 3-9 tournament announced Sunday that the Romanian player’s manager, Virginia Ruzici, had informed Palermo officials of the decision.

The move comes after Italy’s health minister on Friday signed an ordinance requiring all those who have in the last 14 days stayed in Romania or Bulgaria to quarantine.

“We were filled with regret when informed of the news,” tournament director Oliviero Palma said. “We had informed Halep’s staff in detail about the fact that professional players shouldn’t have to go into quarantine.

“But nevertheless Halep’s staff informed us when their decision was already taken. We are disheartened and deeply upset,” Palma added.

Palma also said that a regional health minister had sent Halep a notice explaining that the government ordinance does not apply to workers, and therefore to professional athletes.

Halep was going to be the headline player for the clay-court tournament, the first professional tour-level tennis event following a five-month break for the coronavirus pandemic.

Four other top-20 players remain entered: No. 14 Johanna Konta of Britain, No. 15 Petra Martić of Croatia, No. 18 Markéta Vondroušová of the Czech Republic and No. 20 Maria Sakkari of Greece.

Giron cruises in 3rd set, beats Rybakov at Dallas Open

2023 Australian Open - Day 1
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DALLAS – Marcos Giron advanced to the second round of the Dallas Open with a 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-1 victory over Alex Rybakov on Tuesday.

The seventh-seeded Giron, who reached the semifinals of the inaugural event a year ago, responded quickly after failing to close out the second set, winning the first five games of the deciding set.

Rybakov broke his fellow American when Giron was serving for the match in the second set. Then Rybakov won the first six points of the second-set tiebreaker.

“I’m really happy with how I was able to reset in the third and just get back to the game plan from the beginning and elevate,” Giron said. “He played well and served well and kind of hung in there.”

Eighth-seeded Adrian Mannarino of France won the final five points of a first-set tiebreaker and the last four games of the second to beat American Steve Johnson 7-6 (6), 6-2.

J.J. Wolf, the No. 6 seed, had little trouble in a 6-3, 6-3 victory over fellow American Brandon Holt.

John Isner, the fifth seed and unofficial tournament host in his hometown event, played later Tuesday. Like Giron, Isner lost in the semifinals last year.

Sock wins at Dallas Open, set to face top-seeded Fritz

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DALLAS – Wild-card entry Jack Sock opened with a 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-4 victory over Ilya Ivashka at the Dallas Open, setting up a second-round meeting with top-seeded fellow American Taylor Fritz.

Sock broke Ivashka’s serve in the final game to win the match. Ivashka fell behind 2-0 to start the final set but broke Sock to get back on serve.

Down a break early in the second set, Ivashka rallied to force the deciding set after Sock cruised in the first-set tiebreaker.

The eighth-ranked Fritz is back for the second Dallas Open after losing in the semifinals as the top seed in the inaugural edition of the indoor hard-court event last year. Defending champion Reilly Opelka isn’t in the field.