A goal and a dream. The goal of the Palermo Ladies Open organizers is to have a top ten on the draw, while the dream is to bring the former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova, currently world No. 136. Projects and programmes for the 31th edition that will take place from 18 to 26 July 2020 at the Country Club in Palermo, south of Italy, have been announced in Milan during a conference call.
Palermo came back on the WTA Tour this year after giving their rights to Kuala Lumpur. The income from advertisement, television rights and tickets sale allowed the Country Time Club to break the even. "After a six-year absence the answer from the crowd was really great", the organizers said.
"The 15 percent of income came just from ticketing, while the 24 percent from television rights and 51 from sponsors. It's thank to the many famous companies that believed in the project that now we can announce a new edition of the only Italian tournament scheduled on the WTA calendar after, of course, the Rome Open." After bringing Kiki Bertens last year - she lost to the Swiss Jil Teichmann - Palermo eyes another top ten player in 2020.
"We are negotiating with one of the best players in the world. We want to have a top ten again plus two top 20s. We would like to have Sharapova, who we have tried to bring in already this year." Sharapova usually is on holidays that week in Italy and she is also training with the famous coach Riccardo Piatti. The Russian's first tournament of the next season is still unknown.