Halep withdraws from Madrid: “Experience tells me not to rush”

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Simona Halep‘s return to tennis after a doping ban has been overshadowed by a fitness crisis, which is now affecting her clay court season. Having withdrawn from last week’s Oeiras Ladies Open, the Romanian has made the decision to also skip the Mutua Madrid Open in order to give herself more time to get physically ready.

Simona Halep

The 32-year-old Halep made a much-anticipated return to the Hologic WTA Tour last month at the Miami Open. Her comeback followed the reduction of her four-year ban to nine months upon appeal. Despite a narrow loss in her first-round match against Paula Badosa, the Romanian wildcard left Miami with a positive mindset, grateful for the opportunity to be back on the court.

Her return to competition was slated to continue in Oeiras, but she announced her withdrawal shortly after receiving a wildcard for the WTA 125 event. Feeling pain in her knee, Halep opted out of Oeiras to avoid jeopardizing her participation in the Mutua Madrid Open, an event she has won twice in her career. Therefore, it comes as a surprise that she is now withdrawing from the WTA 1000 tournament in Spain.

The former world No.1 explained her reasons on social media:

Unfortunately my body needs a little more time to be ready and I have made the tough decision not to play in Madrid. Tough because I want to be back on tour asap, but experience tells me not to rush. Thank you to Mutua Madrid Open who offered me the wildcard and to my fans.

As a consequence of her 18-month-long absence from competition, Halep’s ranking has dropped from the Top 10 to No.1,150.


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