2015 French Open finalist Lucie Safarova has clarified that she is not returning to pro tennis as she just wanted to get some preparation before an upcoming exhibition event. This week, Safarova appeared in an ITF event in Reims and many instantly thought the 36-year-old Czech was returning to pro tennis after previously retiring in 2019.
After beating Yaroslava Bartashevich in the Reims first round, Safarova pulled out of the event before her second-round match against Mona Barthel. Also, Safarova pulled out of the Reims doubles event, where she was set to team up with her niece Emma Dvorackova.
In a message posted on her social media, Safarova revealed she didn't know that signing up for an ITF event qualifies under "official return to pro tennis."
Safarova clarifies she is not returning to pro tennis
Sadly, I won't be able to continue my run at the @itftennis 25,000$ tournament in Reims. Although I only wanted to use my time on court as preparation for an exhibition tournament later this month, and to play doubles with my niece, my participation has been qualified as an 'official return to professional tennis' and it needed to be signaled to the ITF prior to competing.
I was not informed of this mandatory procedure, but I respect the decision made by the tennis authorities. Even though it's very disappointing to me. I want to thank the tournament for allowing me to play once more. I also want to thank my fans for all the messages of support I received the last few days.
I'm looking forward to compete at the legends event soon!" Safarova said in a message posted on Instagram.
In Reims, Safarova played her first singles match on the pro level since 2018. In her first and lone match in Reims, Safarova created a comeback to beat Bartashevich 3-6 6-3 6-1.