“I’m just going to try to enjoy myself. To be back on the court right now is really just a privilege without thinking about any results or any goals or focused on numbers or anything else”
Last Updated: 02/08/20 9:30am
Petra Martic says it will be a privilege to be back on court at the Palermo Ladies Open, which marks the return of the professional tennis season on Monday after shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The world No.15 and top seed, who faces Belgium’s Alison Van Uytvanck in the first round, is relieved the WTA tour is restarting with the tournament in Italy, followed by the Prague Open on August 10.
“It’s been so long without tennis, without competition, without the adrenaline that we all kind of love,” Martic said. “So I was really excited to hear that Palermo and Prague will be 100 per cent organised and will go on.
“I’m just going to try to enjoy myself. To be back on the court right now is really just a privilege without thinking about any results or any goals or focused on numbers or anything else.”
An unidentified player pulled out from the event after testing positive for coronavirus but the tournament will continue as planned, the WTA said on Saturday.
Martic had a stellar 2019 when she reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros and finished the season inside the top 20 for the first time in her career.
The 29-year-old Croatian also said the pause due to COVID-19 has taught her about life beyond tennis.
“I didn’t need to pack, which I hate to do. I didn’t need to fly, which I also hate to do. I could just be. It was the first time I could just not be a tennis player and that was a nice change,” she said.
“That’s what’s waiting for all of us one day, so it’s good to kind of feel what it’s going to look like.”
Elsewhere in the draw, the French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova is back after a wrist injury forced her to halt her 2019 season after Wimbledon.
The third seed, Maria Sakkari, has been draw against Kristyna Pliskova in the first round. The main draw is set to commence on Monday.