Wimbledon title holder Simona Halep has been forced to withdraw from the upcoming French Open as she has been unable to recover from the calf injury she suffered during a match at the Italian Open earlier this month.
The Romanian world number 3, who sustained the injury during the second-round match against Germany’s Angelique Kerber at the Rome on May 12, had to be helped off the court and retire. Subsequently, an MRI scan was done that revealed a small tear in her left calf, which made it apparent that the recovery time is too short as the second Grand Slam of the year begins on May 30. As a result of the setback, the 2018 Roland Garros champion has headed back to her native Romania in order to receive proper rehabilitation and treatment from her long term doctor Stefan Irimia.
Speaking of the decision she has taken, she laments for not being a part of the French Open saying: “It’s with a heavy heart that I announce my withdrawal from Roland Garros this year. Unfortunately the tear in my left calf needs more time to recover and the timeline is just too short.”
It will be the first time in Halep’s tennis career since making her debut in 2010 that she misses the French Open. Apart from her 2018 triumph in Paris, she has also made it to the finals in two other occasions – 2014 and 2017. She has won 31 Rolland Garros matches till date, which is the most for her at any Grand Slam.
The 29 year old, who is yet to win a title this year after having her best runs of the season at Stuttgart and Australia, is reported to be replaced by Italy’s Jasmine Paollini to fill her vacancy. A formal statement from either Halep or members from her is yet to be made public.
As Halep is one of the tour’s best performers on clay, it makes reigning champion Iga Swiatek the anticipated favourite to win the title, as the Romanian is set to miss the tournament.