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Halep withdraws from Palermo Open

World number two Simona Halep has withdrawn from this month’s Palermo Ladies Open following Italy’s decision to impose a mandatory quarantine for people coming from Romania and Bulgaria amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on July 24 that people who had been in Romania and Bulgaria the previous 14 days would be quarantined upon arrival in Italy, a move aimed at preventing the importation of Covid-19 cases.

“We found out with great bitterness the decision of the world number two to cancel her participation,” the tournament’s director Oliviero Palma said in a statement.

Palermo will be the first professional tennis event across the WTA and men’s ATP tours after a five-month break, with action scheduled to get underway on the clay courts of the Sicilian capital from August 3.

“Given the recent rise in Covid-19 cases in Romania and my anxieties around international air travel at this time, I made the tough decision to withdraw from Palermo,” Halep said on Twitter.

Halep, the reigning Wimbledon champion and 2018 French Open winner, will compete in the Prague Open, scheduled to start on August 10.

Legge to have leg surgery
British driver Katherine Legge will have surgery on her left leg following a crash in testing ahead of the European Le Mans Series opener in Le Castellet, France.

Legge, who competes for the all-female Richard Mille Racing team, also broke her right wrist after her car went off track on the exit of the Signes corner and crashed into the guardrail.

“Big thank you to everyone who had a part in looking after me … I really do appreciate all your work and efforts to get me out and as comfortable as possible,” Legge said on social media.

Souths’ proud Indigenous history

Latrell Mitchell in the 2020 South Sydney Indigenous jersey. Photo: Supplied

The Rabbitohs have always been proud of their rich Indigenous history – and an 11-minute video released to fans and members certainly does a lovely job detailing what went into the Indigenous jersey design.

Latrell Mitchell, Cody Walker, James Roberts, Braidon Burns, Alex Johnston, Troy Dargan, Josh Cook and Dane Gagai, whose family are Torres Strait Islanders, all feature in the video. The jersey was designed in collaboration with Uncle Joe Walker, who is Cody’s uncle.

Skipper Adam Reynolds also speaks proudly about being connected to the culture through his wife and four children. The club’s stars play the didgeridoo in the middle of Redfern Oval, a scene which was filmed at the start of the year when Mitchell had just arrived at the club. They also break into a dance and giggle.

Cody Walker shows his two sons the jersey and explains the importance of appreciating history.

“Here at South Sydney we get to have an input into the design of the jersey,” Walker says. “And what I think is great with the jersey is there are so many boys from so many backgrounds and different areas of Australia, and we’re all connected through that bunny.

“We have a great representation of Aboriginal players who have played for South Sydney over the years. Greg Inglis was a huge figure, Nathan Merritt, I had a little bit to do with Chris Sandow when he was here.

“But I really admired someone like Dean Widders who played for the club and then went into the community, coached the Redfern All Blacks to three premierships, and he’s still a part of the local community today.”

The Indigenous jersey was worn by Souths for the NRL’s Indigenous round clash against St George-Illawarra on July 30. The Rabbitohs outplayed the Dragons 32-24, with all six Rabbitohs tries by Indigenous stars – Alex Johnston (3), Cody Walker (2), and Latrell Mitchell.

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