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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday August 3, 2020

 
Sara Errani

Sara Errani gutted out a three-hour win in Palermo on a day that was triumphant both for the tour and herself.

Photo Source: Getty

Tennis is back!

The Ladies Open Palermo kicked off the WTA Tour restart on Monday with eight main draw singles matches that included a few marathons and, of course, an upset or two.

Crowds were sparse, with plenty of masks worn. Post-match interviews were held at a social distance with the players standing behind a microphone and an unseen interviewer asking questions in the background. Post-match press conferences were also held virtually.


But the tennis was physical and, even if it wasn’t perfect it had that gritty feel of a clay court tournament and the intensity of meaningful competition.

It was a late night in Sicily, with play ending around 2 AM after Jasmine Paolini and Daria Kasatkina played well over three hours in a three-set thriller that saw the Italian take out the Russian 5-7 6-4 6-4.

Eight matches were played on Monday, including three seeded players – Maria Sakkari, Donna Vekic, Dayana Yastremska and Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Sixth-seeded Vekic won impressively, 6-1 6-2 over Arantxa Rus, while third-seeded Sakkari was taken out by Kristyna Pliskova in the day’s biggest upset.

Seventh-seeded Yastremska prevailed in straight sets, 6-3 6-4 over Sara Sorribes Tormo, while eighth-seeded Alexandrova toppled Kristina Mladenovic 5-7 6-0 6-1 in a match that featured 20 double-faults from the Frenchwoman.

The quote of the day belongs to Vekic, who summed up the first match back on tour after five months of coronavirus with a smile.

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,” she said.

 

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