WTA action resumes at Palermo with precautions
he event did move back a week from its original dates at the end of July, "because the WTA needed time to put in place its health protocols and new rules."
Yet how will world tennis cope if the Covid-19 crisis continues? "Wait and see", says Palma with a smile. Palermo has reduced prize money by almost 20 per cent, from $275,000 to $222,500. "The WTA has told us that there will be no return to normal prize money and circuit economics until 2022," French player Fiona Ferro said earlier this week, referring to "a phase of reconstruction until then." Looking ahead to ATP and WTA plans which include the US Open from August 31 behind closed doors, and then the French Open, is Palma is cautious.
"Today, we can't talk about optimism or pessimism, but realism," he said. "Under these conditions, it's alright, but everything can change." He believes the model deployed at his modest tournament can work on a larger scale at events with both greater resources and greater risks. "The protocol is good, it's applicable everywhere, so far it's safe, it works.
But we're in a quiet part of the world. I understand the difficulties that the US Open could have with many more people," he said. "But New York's budget is not Palermo's budget." es fjt/cha/pb
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