Danielle Collins has been kicked out of World TeamTennis for breaking the league’s COVID-19 protocols.

WTT CEO Carlos Silva says Collins left The Greenbrier resort hosting all of the matches during the league’s three-week season and went out of the state of West Virginia.

“The protocols have been put in place and communicated numerous times to protect the health and safety of our players, coaches and staff,” Silva said.

Collins is a 26-year-old American who was a semifinalist at the 2019 Australian Open. She has been ranked as high as No. 23 and currently is No. 51.

She was playing for the Orlando Storm at WTT, which took all nine of its teams and put them at The Greenbrier, where the season began July 12 and ends Aug. 2.

The WTT is not affiliated with the WTA or ATP professional tours, which have been suspended since March because of the coronavirus pandemic and plan to resume next month.

CITI OPEN CANCELED: The Citi Open in Washington, scheduled to start with Aug. 13 qualifying, was called off Tuesday because of what tournament manager Mark Ein said are “too many unresolved external issues, including various international travel restrictions as well as troubling health and safety trends.”

The tournament that was supposed to mark the official return of men’s professional tennis amid the coronavirus pandemic has been canceled. The men’s and women’s pro tours both have been suspended since March and are planning to return next month. The first event on the most recently announced calendar is a women’s tournament in Palermo, Italy, starting Aug. 3.

With Washington’s hard-court tournament now gone, the first chance for men to play sanctioned matches will be the Masters-level event usually played in Cincinnati that was moved to the site of the U.S. Open, starting Aug. 22. That is to be followed by the U.S. Open, beginning Aug. 31.

PARALYMPICS

ZANARDI TRANSFERRED: Alex Zanardi, the Italian auto racing champion-turned-Paralympic gold medalist, was transferred to a neurological rehabilitation center Tuesday, a month after getting seriously injured in a handbike crash.

The Siena hospital that had been treating Zanardi since the June 19 crash announced that the athlete had been released but, in accordance with Zanatrdi’s family, did not say where he was taken.

Zanardi underwent three delicate surgeries at the Siena hospital to stabilize him and reconstruct his severely damaged face since he crashed into an oncoming truck near the Tuscan town of Pienza during a relay event.

“His clinical condition and vital signs have shown he’s on the road toward stability, which allowed for the reduction and suspension of the sedative, and therefore the possibility to be transferred to a facility where he can receive the necessary neuro-rehabilitation,” said Valtere Giovannini, director of the Santa Maria alle Scotte Hospital.

“(Zanardi) has shown extraordinary strength, which is a precious gift that he’ll need on the new challenge beginning today,” Giovannini added.

The 53-year-old Zanardi, who lost both of his legs in an auto racing crash nearly 20 years ago, had been on a ventilator in a medically induced coma since the crash. The hospital would not say if Zanardi was awake or not. Zanardi suffered serious facial and cranial trauma, and doctors have warned of possible brain damage.

HOCKEY

KHL: A Russian team playing in the Kontinental Hockey League has withdrawn from a preseason tournament after 20 people from the club tested positive for the coronavirus.

Avangard Omsk General Manager Alexei Volkov says the positive tests come from players and members of team staff who were tested during training camp. Volkov adds that the people are in isolation and that most don’t have obvious symptoms.

Avangard was scheduled to play in a preseason tournament from Aug. 4-9 in Sochi. The last KHL season was cut short midway through the playoffs when the coronavirus pandemic made international travel difficult. The KHL is aiming to start the new season on Sept. 2 and expects to finalize the calendar after a board meeting scheduled for next week.

SWIMMING

FINA SUPPORT: Swimming governing body FINA is giving almost $6.5 million to help athletes prepare for the postponed Tokyo Olympics.

FINA says it wants to help athletes who “endure hardships related to their training and competitive opportunities due to the pandemic.” The plan includes $4 million for at least 160 national federations to support athletes with expenses for training, competitions and living over the next year.

A further $2 million will support 100 scholarships for athletes who currently do not have Olympic qualifying standards to prepare at national or continental centers. FINA supports regional bases in Russia, Senegal, Thailand and the United States.

SOCCER

NWSL: Actress Natalie Portman and venture capitalist Kara Nortman lead a group that will bring an expansion National Women’s Soccer League team to the Los Angeles area in 2022.

The team, tentatively named Angel City, will bring the league to 11 teams. Louisville FC will join the nine current NWSL clubs next season.

Portman and Nortman are joined by gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, the cornsortium’s president in the majority-female group. Others involved include actors Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner and Uzo Aduba.

Tech entrepreneur and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, the husband of tennis star Serena Williams, is the lead investor through his firm Initialized Capital. Portman, Nortman and Uhrman all have a financial stake in the team.

 


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